On Labor Day, September 4, 2017, over 100 volunteers flooded the parking lot of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, in Los Angeles, California and accepted and sorted over 1000 donated items from community residents in support of Hurricane Harvey victims. The kick-off of the 10 day donation drive, organized by Bishop Charles Blake, West Angeles Church of God in Christ, Steve Wonder’s KJLH and COGIC Charities was also supported by NBA Hall of Famer, Magic ‘Erving” Johnson, Award-winning Actor, Courtney Vance, Platinum Record Artist, Norwood Young and Manufacturing Executive, Eula Smith, all who contributed significant donations.
Bishop Charles Blake, pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ (COGIC) and Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, COGIC Charities, and KJLH coordinated with Federal, State and Local emergency management officials to develop an aggressive national strategy to speed up response and delivery of much needed supplies to Hurricane Harvey victims. “We assure you we are reaching out to the impacted individuals who need our help,”Blake. “This money is not going to go to private hands, some unknown place. … We’re going to bring all of our stuff from our 20 reception centers and we’re gonna provide it for the people who need clothing. Many of them did not have a chance to bring anything when they rushed out of their homes.” Blake continued.
Magic “Erving” Johnson announced during the tour of the collection stations and the sorting facility, that UPS had pledged to provide trucks to assist in transporting the items to the Houston area. This is the first public partnership UPS has made in the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. Additionally, Johnson stated that an associate would be donating 1000 pair of new shoes and another donor, contributing 5000 blankets. Johnson had a message to all those victimized by Hurricane Harvey, “We want to just tell them that we love them and we support them and we know they need not only funds but also items,” Johnson said. “… We really just are happy to be part of trying to make people down in Houston feel better and show them that we care.” Eula Smith, announced that her manufacturing partners were pleased to donate over 300 new dresses and would increase their donation in time.
The COGIC contingency welcomed participation from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, local pastors Reverend Mark Whitlock and Kelvin Sauls to galvanize the Los Angeles community to make donations to assist the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Blake emphasized the importance of the religious, political, entertainment, civic and lay communities working together for the success of the donation drive to benefit the Hurricane Harvey victims.
Following the blueprint of the Los Angeles Regional Collection Center execution, volunteers at each COGIC regional collection center are planning to load approximately 20 18-Wheelers with donated items. COGIC Charities has secured a 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse from the city of Houston. This facility will serve as a Super Resource Center where residents affected by Hurricane Harvey can receive needed items, as well as, other needed assistance.
Donations will be collected September 4th - September 14th from 7:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m at West Angeles Church of God in Christ, 3600 Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. To meet the identified needs of Hurricane Harvey victims, the following items will be collected: non-perishable food, bottled water, toiletries, diapers, baby formula, women's sanitary products, new undergarments (men & women), new children's clothing, new adult clothing, cleaning products, plastic garbage pails, plastic trash bags, shovels and tools.