Helping Soapmakers Affected by Harvey

news and updates
hands in the rain

Hurricane Harvey made landfall last Friday, and set records for the amount of rainfall in southeast Texas and southern Louisiana.

If you missed it, here's a brief summary of what has happened. And here's drone footage of just some of the flooding in Houston:

 

Many people are still stranded, aren't able to reach shelters, or are running out of food, water, and supplies. When it's over, those affected will have a long road ahead of them to recover.

We're encouraging folks to help how they can.

If you plan on donating cash (which is the best thing to do, so the charity can make the best decision to serve those in need rather than sorting material donations), please use Charity Navigator to choose a non-profit that does a good job allocating funds.

We chose the Houston Food Bank and Texas Diaper Bank as they accomplish a lot, dollar for dollar, and have the local resources to get to those who need it. We have made donations to Houston Food Bank and Texas Diaper Bank, and will continue to donate any sales over the next week directly to those organizations.

Soapmakers in Need

We've also made contact with a few soapmakers in the community who are directly affected. Talking to these soapmakers has been absolutely gut-wrenching, and some are still trying to survive flood waters, isolation, loss of supplies, etc.

So far, many have a support network and funds to get the help they need, but not all of them are able to do so. We're sharing their information below so that we can help as many as we can - maybe you can donate to help them get supplies or get back on their feet, or maybe you can connect them directly to relief efforts.

Ashlee of Lather Me Crazy

Ashlee and her family lost her home and everything in it: clothes, medications and more. All tools, work supplies, etc.

Ashlee and her family of 11 people are currently in a warehouse in Beaumont, TX. They have some supplies, and were able to get some bottled water this morning. However, there was a limit of 2 cases of water per group, not per person, so they'll go through that quickly. They were unable to bring needed medications with them as they were leaving their home.

 Ashlee's neighborhood as they were escaping the flood waters.

Here's what she said when I spoke to her briefly today:

We are trying hard to get thru this right now with the basics of survival. I'm afraid we are going to lose some people in our group very soon if we don't get some basics, like medicine. A few of us are getting sick here and the situation is getting more & more detrimental as the hours pass. 911 isn't an option. They are still plucking people from the waters. 

Anything would help right now. Bread, beans, matches, soap, rice, baby wipes, JUST ANYTHING to SURVIVE. We have a few stores open here, but we gotta get to medicine right now and willing to do whatever it takes to get it. 

Update on 9/2/2017: Ashlee and her family made it out of the flood waters and managed to get their hands on much needed medication, a temporary shelter, and are working to get food and supplies. She immediately went to work trying to help others get out of the flood zone.

If you can help Ashlee and her family, please send funds via Paypal to her directly: [email protected]

 Out their kitchen window before they left their home due to flooding.

Unlike GoFund.me, Paypal will not take fees if you send via Friends & Family, and Ashlee has direct access to her Paypal funds to use right away. Obviously, donations directly to Ashlee and her family are not tax-deductible.

Right now, funds will be used for basic survival needs (food, water, hygiene, medicine) until help can get to their location. After the floodwater recedes, they will use any remaining funds for flood damage, like tearing out carpet, drywall, etc and replacing it all. Ashlee isn't concerned about furniture or other niceties, but hopes they can provide their children with a bed and clothes. They were able to move their vehicles to high ground near the highway before the flood.

If you are volunteering locally and can assist Ashlee and her family in getting to safety, please reach out to her via Facebook. She is doing her best to keep her phone charged so she can communicate with others, so please do not contact her unless you can directly help. (Spare her phone battery!) She has been posting updates publicly, if you want to follow her.

Need help?

If anyone in the soapmaking community is affected, let us know how we can help. We are here for you. If you know a soapmaker who could use our help, reach out. Please feel free to email us at support AT modernsoapmaking DOT com

We've also partnered with the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetics Guild to help soapmakers who are affected rebuild their businesses. You do not have to be a member of the HSCG to apply! Find out more information and get help rebuilding here.

We'll update this post with more information as we get it.

Resources

Local Phone Numbers for Help

  • Houston Police Department: 311 or 713-884-3131
    Houston Fire Department: 311
    *If you are awaiting rescue, prominently display a towel or sheet from a door or window so we can spot you. Addresses are tough to spot.
  • United States Coast Guard: 713-578-3000
    281-464-4851
    281-464-4852
    281-464-4853
    281-464-4854
    281-464-4855
  • Center Point Energy: 713-207-2222
  • Texas United Way: 211
  • FEMA: Registration - 1-800-621-3362
  • National Emergency Child Locator Center: 1-866-908-9570
  • American Red Cross: 1-800-RED-CROSS
  • Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990
  • State Bar of Texas: Legal Hotline - 1-800-504-7030

Please add any additional resources in the comments. We'll update this post if we get any updates, locate any other soapmakers in need, and when we can put together a supply or soap drive when getting supplies to the area is possible.

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