Monday, August 28, 2017

Sequoyah County Residents Helping with Relief Effort

Sequoyah County forces, from one businessman to the Red Cross, are beginning the rally to help Texas residents survive Hurricane Harvey and catastrophic flooding hitting that state and its cities.

Steve Rutherford, Sequoyah County Emergency Management director, said he believes Pafford EMS has sent an emergency team to assist and the American Red Cross office in Fort Smith, which covers Sequoyah County, has also sent volunteers.

Donations for relief may be made through the Red Cross by donating on the Red Cross web site, by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or by texting HARVEY to 90999, which automatically donates $10 to the Red Cross.

Rutherford recommends that anyone who wants to assist should contact any emergency organization at the disaster area to see if they will be allowed to enter or help.

John Wilhite of Prairie Creek Realty and Auction in Sallisaw is planning on traveling to Houston Tuesday morning with relief supplies.

Wilhite said anyone who wants to donate supplies may do so at Journey Church in Sallisaw, where he will pick them up for the trip to Houston.

“I was watching the news after church on Sunday,” Wilhite said, “and I felt that the Lord wanted me to go. I’m a Texas boy and I went to high school in Houston.”

Wilhite said he’ll take anything anyone wants to donate and challenged businesses to help the cause. Wilhite hopes to deliver non-perishable food items, toiletries, baby items such as diapers, and water, lots and lots of water.

“I understand a water treatment plant is underwater and a levee broke in Sugarland, a suburb of Houston,” Wilhite said. “They need water to drink.”

But Wilhite said he will take anything, including money donations, which may be made to him, to his Pay Pal account or to Journey Church.

Wilhite is looking for a trailer to haul donations to Houston, and will gladly take anyone with him who would like to help. He said he already has at least one volunteer and possibly two others. Wilhite will also be taking his own boat to help with rescues if needed.

Donations should be dropped off at the church, where someone will be available to accept them, or by calling Wilhite to pick donations up. Wilhite may be contacted at his office where the phone number is 918-775-3276 or by his cell phone which is 918-775-0156. His cell phone will accept calls forwarded from the office phone.

“We need to help these people out,” Wilhite said. “Whatever anyone can do will be greatly appreciated. More than anything, we all need prayers. God told me to go down there and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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