The promotional products industry has come through in a big way to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston and its surrounding areas. Through product donation and fundraising, suppliers and distributors have been doing their part to help those in need.
In order to help people in affected areas keep their cellphones and electronics charged, Bullet, Hialeah, Fla., is donating 1,500 power banks, 1,500 charging cables and 1,500 tote bags.
"It's important for us to participate in these efforts," Steve Gelernter, national sales manager for Bullet, said in a press release. "Hopefully these products can help those affected by this disaster. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all in Texas."
Hirsch Gift Inc., which is native to Houston, has been coordinating shipments of products to local shelters.
"Hirsch Gift is coordinating a relief effort to provide essential relief items to flood victims in the Houston and surrounding area," Paul Hirsch, vice president at Hirsch Gift Inc., told Promo Marketing. "The required items are being posted and updated on our Facebook page."
Hirsch said that the company's location played a big role in its desire to lend a helping hand.
"As Houstonians, we have seen firsthand the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in the city we love," he said. "This has effected our staff, friends, customers and entire community as the situation continues to evolve."
Those interested in contributing can check Facebook to see what items people are in need of and send them to Hirsch. They can also donate directly to the Red Cross and specify the donation is for "Hurricane Harvey relief."
While Hirsch is doing what it can from Houston, other companies, and some are doing it from afar. And some, like Charles River Apparel, won't be far away for long.
Barry and Deb Lipsett, owners of Charles River Apparel, are hitting the road on Tuesday to start a tag-team effort, eventually ending up in Houston, where the company will donate jackets and other goods.
"The van itself will be donated to an animal rescue organization," Deb Lipsett said. "The rescue organization will have the van, and we also have doggy rain jackets. So we're going to give a large quantity of our rain jackets."
The Charles River van will be full of a variety of rainwear and jackets. The company additionally sent 200 jackets to the mayor's office of Friendship, Texas, where the jackets will be distributed.
Charles River hasn't decided the charity that will receive the donation, but Lipsett said priority No. 1 is making sure that, whichever charity they donate to, all of the products immediately go to those in need.
"For Katrina, we did something similar," she said. "We had a van driven out there with products. When this happened, we said we'll donate again. Everybody kicked into gear."
The trip will begin next Tuesday, and the van is estimated to arrive in Houston on Sept. 9.
"It's amazing how everyone is pitching in and volunteering," Lipsett said. "This is really a team effort, with the driving and the people researching where we donate. It's all just a partnership."
If you are interested in donating, please visit www.redcross.org for more information.