Focus shifts to Beaumont, Port Arthur; diapers, baby supplies needed

Photo by Shanna Johnson.

By Joey McWilliams

Shanna Johnson and her husband made a trip last week to the Texas area affected by the wrath of Harvey, bringing supplies to those in need.

She said the trip was overwhelming.

“There were lots of lines of people waiting and needing supplies and water,” Johnson said. “There was a lot of help when we got there unloading the trailers. They’ve started to get really good systems as far as being able to stay organized and get things out.

“We were there for about an hour and dropped things off. We got a call within 30 minutes of when we left that everything we had taken down there was gone.”

Shanna, owner of Don’t Blink Photography in Durant, and husband Tracy took a big trailer to the Hampton Inn in Beaumont and then went down to Port Arthur. The Johnsons caravanned with Julie and Todd Carter, but did not do so on a whim or without assistance. John Wyatt, captain of the reserve division of the Durant Police Department was the group’s contact.

“Every business there is completely shut down,” Shanna Johnson said. “No restaurants, no convenience stores, there’s nothing going on. It’s just very out of this world. It looked like something out of a movie.”

The needs in Houston are still there, but the affected area goes well beyond just the Houston metropolitan outreaches.

Bryan County United Way Director, Pam Robinson, confirmed Beaumont and Port Arthur were cities in much need.

The items listed by the United Way last week, which you can read HERE, are still in need, and cleaning supplies has risen to near the top of the list.

Johnson also stressed the need for baby supplies.

“Every little bit helps,” Johnson said. “They’re really in need of diapers and any kind of baby supplies at all right now.

“They are also needing any kind of vet supplies, like antibiotics, that can be donated. They’re having to do triages on location in a parking lot for some of these pets that have been found in bad shape.”

Those wanting to help today can drop supplies at Johnson’s business location for Don’t Blink Photography at 126 N. Third Avenue in Durant.

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