Local soliciting donations to help Texans under water
Business owner: 'We've been through the floods here; we know what's it's like'
When Cassville business owner Joe Goade heard about the devastating floods affecting thousands of families in the Houston area due to historic flooding brought on by Hurricane Harvey — the strongest hurricane to hit Texas in over 50 years — he wondered how he could help.
Thousands of families have been trapped inside their flooded homes without food or water, waiting for relief.
A friend from high school who lives in a Houston subdivision was lucky to get out.
"They were under the mandatory evacuation," said Goade, who owns the Bullets and Bows Guns & Archery store in Cassville. "But a lot can't get out. I understand Bass Pro Shops sent 40 boats to help people get out. There are even overpasses completely under water."
The flooding has been so epic that FEMA is calling for citizens to help their neighbors, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has activated all 12,000 members of the state's National Guard.
"We've been through the floods here; we know what's it's like," Goade said. "But, even so, there have only been a few homes flooded here. There, we're talking houses covered up to and over the roof with water. These people are losing everything they have."
The situation for Texans is still precarious, at best.
"It's still raining there," Goade said. "It's supposed to rain until Thursday. So, now, places that weren't flooded yesterday are flooded today. The water is not receding; it's getting worse. People don't have flood insurance out there. The river is expected to supposed to crest there tonight, and if so, the whole subdivision will be under water.
According to ABC News, over three dozen subdivisions are expected to be severely flooded.
"I really didn't know what to do," Goade said. "So I called the Red Cross. It took two days for them to return my call. They are so overwhelmed, they're not taking anything else. They gave me another number to call. So, I started making calls and got hold of a ministry called Under Over Fellowship in Conroe, Texas. I left a message and it wasn't five minutes I got a call back from the pastor. He said, 'It doesn't matter what you bring, we're going to need anything you can — food, clothes, blankets, toothbrushes."
The church is also a Red Cross emergency shelter.
So, Goade did something.
He parked his 28-foot trailer in Price Cutter's parking lot on Main Street and began inviting passersby to donate supplies to fill the trailer and take to Texans.
"Anything people bring is going to Texas to help," Goade said. "KY3 has been saying 'you've got to watch for people scamming during times like these,' but I'm a business man and I just want to help people. I could be at the store making money but I need to be here because people are in a lot more need than I am."
Goade said he has heard of businesses are gouging flood victims.
"They're asking $19 for a case of water and $8 for a gallon of gas," he said. "I hope the state comes down on them. You shouldn't take advantage of people like that. Our country is in enough turmoil. We need people to stand up and help."
Goade will be at the Price Cutter parking lot with his trailer through Thursday and possibly early Friday and urges anyone, individuals or businesses, to donate supplies. He said he has enough water and is looking for supplies that most have laying around unused, like extra food, clothing, toothbrushes, laundry detergent, games, etc. After business hours, people can bring supplies to his home adjacent to his business on Farm Road 2172 in Cassville, down from All Points Recycling.
He plans to leave early Friday to make the 10-hour trip to Texas.
"[I'll take] even just a can of corn or beans, just something," he said. "People are in more need there right now than we are. I don't want to take a half-empty trailer there."
Goade has room for two more able-bodied men to make the trip with he and employee Mike Foley to help. If interested, he can be reached at 417-342-2067, or volunteers may call the store at 417-847-8040.
As soon as Goade told Foley his plans, he was for it.
"He came over early in the morning and proposed his idea and I said, 'I'm in,'" Foley said.
He may miss a couple days of work, but it's OK.
"It's for a good cause," Foley said. "It's not about us."
Goade said Price Cutter donated a pallet of water, cereal and chicken broth to help.
Another business, A&R Sales in Washburn, helped by lending Goade spare tires for the trip to Texas.
"One woman donated 28 boxes of diapers," Goade said. "I asked her, 'Did you buy all this,' and she said, 'No, God did.' This is not for us; it's for them. Anything people bring by will be used and taken to Texas to help. I'm hoping to leave Friday morning with a full load."