Flooding from Hurricane Harvey has thousands seeking refuge in Tyler.
Many left with just the clothes on their backs so we talked to area non-profit Cornerstone Assistance Network, which has been gathering clothes for evacuees.
They need donations of gift cards and diapers right now the most but they said the outpouring of support has been incredible.
CBS 19’s Sasha Wilson talked to a family who, despite having to evacuate to Tyler, they were at Cornerstone Thursday, Aug 31 to give back.
Sarah and Jason Thomsen left their home in Seabrook after a mandatory evacuation was issued.
“This little guy was the reason we left early,” Sarah said as she bounced her 7-month-old son Maverick on her hip, “Even though our apartment was dry at the time being, we figured our lives were more important than our stuff.”
Sarah is originally from Tyler, so they came here to stay with family.
“We saw our city being torn apart on the news and felt helpless, knowing that our apartment was most likely still dry while others around us were falling apart it just started something inside of us to start trying to do everything we can,” she said.
Not only are they loading up everything they can to take back for their friends, they brought thousands of dental items from TJC to Cornerstone Assistance Network.
They are one family of many who were moved to action by the devastation. Tyler resident Debra Legate has donated to Cornerstone and volunteered her time there.
“Every time I watch the TV, I have cried and cried and cried,” Legate said with tears in her eyes. “I look at people who don’t have food and clothing and again I do so I want to help give as much as I can.”
She had a message for those torn from their lives, those who lost loved ones and need support.
“Keep hope because there’s people out there that want to help,” she said. “Pray because God will heal our land again.”
Cornerstone Assistance Network Development Director Megan Riaz said the Tyler community has shown tremendous generosity as they welcome evacuees.
“We are so thankful for everything that has been given to allow us to better serve our Texas neighbors,” she said. “We are providing clothing, toiletries, socks and underwear, diapers, gift cards and other essential items.”
People who want to help can drop donations at their location on 200 N. Beckham from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
People can also donate on their website at www.etcornerstone.org and put “Harvey” in the comments.
They still need gift cards, laundry detergent, diapers size 5 and 6.
The Thomsens are headed back Sunday and are asking for cleaning supplies. They can be reached at Sarahthomsen13@gmail.com.