Locals gather items to send to victims of floods in Texas, Louisiana

  • USC-Salkehatchie Coach Jake Williams readies a shipment of t-shirts to send to Texas.

As the flooding in Texas and Louisiana caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey continues to wreak devastation, people in Barnwell County are trying to determine what they can do to best help the victims.

“The best way is to coordinate with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Golden Harvest or any of the sanctioned charities,” said Barnwell County Emergency Management Director Roger Riley. “That’s where my money is going to.”

“Donations of items are great but they really need to go through the proper channels,” he said.

One group that is working an organization - Golden Harvest - is the Sandifer family of Blackville who is planning to ship a tractor trailer load of items on Friday, Sept. 1.

Items being gathered include diapers, wipes, adult diapers, non-perishable food, water, baby clothes and personal hygiene items, and more.

To donate items, bring them to Phil Sandifer & Sons Farms, 1583 Mt. Zion Road, Blackville. The Sandifers can also be reached at their office at (803) 284-5111, Kitty Sandifer at (803) 793-7906, or Scotty Sander at (803) 383-1226.

Barnwell Chiropractic, 76 Irving Street, Barnwell has announced that it is an additional drop-off point for the Sandifer shipment.  Donations may be dropped off Monday -Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and noon.  Those needing other hours or who have questions may call 259-9412. 

Brittany Lawson, 29, of Barnwell, is also asking for donation of special items to send with the Sandifers. “We are asking for items such as coloring books, crayons, puzzle books, flash cards, board games - anything that will help adults and children to pass the time while they are in shelters,” she said.

“I have three kids of my own (ages 7, 5 and 3) so this really hits close to home,” said Lawson.

Items may be dropped off at the BiRite, 9056 Patterson Street, Barnwell, where Lawson works and her father, Ricky Creech, owns the store.

The Sandifers plans to take a shipment on Friday, Sept. 1. Additional shipments will depend on how much is gathered as they want a full truckload to send.

A message sent from Coach Kelvin Sampson of the University of Houston basketball team to basketball coaches across the nation reached a coach at USC Salkehatchie who is putting the request into action.

"Many coaches have asked me what they can do to help the people of Houston and I came up with this idea: for all men's and women's basketball programs at every level everywhere please send me 20 t-shirts and 10 pairs of shoes and we will distribute them to people in need in Houston.  If you can't send that much, send what you can,” said Sampson.

USC Salk’s head men’s basketball coach Jake Williams has taken him up on the request is packaging shirts to send.

"All of our hearts go out to those in need in these devastating times” said Sampson.  “We will get these goods to agencies that will distribute them to the right people in need. God bless you all.  Please continue to keep the people of Houston in your prayers," he said.

If you would like to help, mail T-shirts and/or shoes to: Coach Kelvin Sampson, University of Houston Basketball, Guy V. Lewis Development Center, 3480 Cullen Blvd, Houston, Texas, 77204.