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Larry Kindig, left, Patrick Mejstrick, Rod Heng and Charlie Oborny, members of Knights of Columbus Council 7034 in Valley, unload donated relief supplies at Ford Storage in Omaha.

Valley community aids hurricane victims

Struck by the ongoing needs of Hurricane Harvey’s victims in Houston, members of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Valley felt the need to help.

So they spearheaded an effort with several other churches and businesses in the area to collect cleaning and baby supplies, plus other items, and deliver them to Houston, said Molly Zach, director of faith formation for the parish and coordinator of the project.

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, First United Methodist Church and Twin Rivers YMCA in Valley, Lutheran Church of the Master in Omaha and Elkhorn, and CrossFit Kinesis in Gretna conducted drives in September and October to collect donations.

In all, the donations filled a 53-foot semitrailer with 26 palettes of supplies, which were transported to Houston Oct. 28.

"I was so impressed with our community and how everyone came together," Zach said. "We’re just a small parish, so to get so much help from churches and organizations in the area was pretty incredible."

Members of the local Knights of Columbus Council 7034 picked up donations from the various locations and delivered them to Ford Storage in Omaha.

"Ford Storage was probably the most vital piece to our operation because they donated the semitrailer, the driver and all of the expenses to deliver the supplies to Houston," she said.

Zach, her family and her parents also traveled to Houston to help the Knights of Columbus there unload and distribute the supplies to members of the Catholic parishes affected by the hurricane.

The late August storm dumped four days of rain on eastern Texas, causing widespread flooding in the Houston area.

"To be able to fill a 53-foot semi-trailer, and to take it down there and see the responses of the Knights of Columbus and to talk with some of the families that received the supplies – it was pretty powerful," Zach said. "They were very grateful."

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