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Mayor Adler Asks Austinites To Make 'Welcome Kits' For Harvey Evacuees

Facebook Live screenshot
Austin Mayor Steve Adler makes a "welcome kit" on Facebook Live for Harvey evacuees coming to Austin for shelter.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler is calling on Austinites to help fellow Texans taking shelter here by making 6,000 "welcome kits" for the Austin Disaster Relief Network.

Watch his announcement below:

Here's what goes into a welcome kit:

  • New Towel
  • New Washcloth
  • Soap
  • Tissue
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine Products
  • Shampoo
  • Comb
  • New Blanket
  • New Pillow
  • Wipes
  • Baby Bottles/Formula
  • Diapers
  • Baby Food
  • A note of encouragement

How to put the kit together:

  • Get a reusable bag(s) or plastic container with a lid
  • Fill the container with listed items
  • Drop your donation off at one of these locations:

Hope Family Thrift Store, 1122 E 51st St. Austin, TX; Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

360 Warehouse, 1905 South Capitol of TX Highway, Austin, TX; Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Connection Church, 1235 South Loop 4, Buda; Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The mayor is also putting out the call for 500 large animal crates for the Austin Animal Center, plus used sheets and towels to line the crates. You can drop those off between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Animal Center at 7201 Levander Loop.

Credit Austin Price / KUT
Volunteers and Red Cross staff prepare the Austin Convention Center on Wednesday to house Harvey evacuees.

The city and the Red Cross are preparing to house 2,500 Harvey evacuees this week at the Austin Convention Center. The main purpose of the shelter initially will be getting evacuees food and a place to sleep.

Bristel Minsker, a spokesperson for the Red Cross, said in the coming days the group will focus on bringing in other resources. She said more than 5,000 people in Austin and Central Texas have signed up to volunteer and asked those who are still interested to have patience.

“As this moves on in the weeks to come, there is going to be a much larger, longer-term relief effort," she said. "So a lot of the volunteers that are in the system, that have gone through the background check, if we don’t get them to staff them as shelter workers, we’re going to need them in the longer-term relief effort.”

Minsker said the city wants to take in 6,000 evacuees, but right now the Convention Center can accommodate 2,500. Most of the evacuees are coming from Houston, where they were rescued from flooded homes.

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