New England Organizations Rush To Help Houston Following Harvey

BOSTON (CBS) – Officials in the devastated city of Houston say they’ve received from 60,000-70,000 calls for help in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Emergency relief is pouring from all over, including from New England.

Among those on their way to Texas to lend a hand are Salvation Army disaster chaplains Maj. Bessie Babbitt and Maj. Mayra Vasquez.

salvation New England Organizations Rush To Help Houston Following Harvey

Salvation Army Maj. Bessie Babbitt and Maj. Mayra Vasquez at Logan Airport before their trip to Texas. (WBZ-TV)

The pair left Logan Airport Wednesday for what is expected to be a two-week assignment.

“When I saw those images I said ‘I’m going over there,'” said Vasquez.

Vasquez and Babbitt are prepared to be emotional support, knowing so many people have lost so much.

“There’s a lot of need for people to talk about what happened,” said Vasquez.

harveysa New England Organizations Rush To Help Houston Following Harvey

Salvation Army members prepare for assignment in Houston following Hurricane Harvey. (WBZ-TV)

The two-week venture is one common for Salvation Army. The organization has already provided logistical needs of food and clothing, but Vasquez and Babbitt’s assignment goes deeper.

“Sometimes we don’t even need to say anything. It’s just an action, and being there to listen, and hold if necessary,” Babbitt said.

The trip has an emotional impact on the pair.

“Usually I have a good cry when I get home over everything I have experienced,” said Babbitt.

WBZ-TV’s David Robichaud reports

In Charlestown, Teamsters Local 25 is collecting donations and they plan to fill a truck to drive down to Texas.

They’ve only been accepting items since this morning and already a room was filling up. One donor told WBZ-TV “I feel like they’ve lost so much, it’s very little that I can give back.”

Teamsters Local 25 will accept donations from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Thursday and 8:30 a.m. until noon on Friday. They are located at 544 Main Street in Charlestown.

Singer Billy Joel is performing Wednesday night at Fenway Park. During the concert, the Red Sox and American Red Cross will be collecting donations to benefit Harvey victims.

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