HAAM volunteers lend a hand after Ike
- Written by Luisa Hart and Kathy Parks
The families who come to Humble Area Assistance Ministries for assistance come from a wide variety of backgrounds and levels of financial need. Most struggle to afford rent or groceries on an everyday basis. Fluctuations in utilies or gasoline products tighten their already strained budgets. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, many were left without power or food. HAAM, located at 1302 First Street in Humble, was one of the first places of refuge to reopen after the hurricane Sept. 15. "We have been seeing families from our area, from evacuated areas and from other parts of the city and Montgomery County," said Diana Garbis, executive director of HAAM. "We are supporting the POD in Humble with our volunteers, and helping coordinate with efforts with CTRF. We expect to see both sides of the hurricane- from those who have lost everything and those like a family today, that were just glad to be alive and went out and purchased $600 worth of food and needed items for us to distribute." Garbis says the pantry was the "barest" she's ever seen it, but with help from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they were able to give immediate help to nearly 350 families last week. A truck of supplies made their way from Salt Lake City, Utah Sept. 18, delivering more than 500 individual hurricane kits containing hygiene products and non-perishable food items such as canned food and instant potatoes. More than 50 volunteers from five area wards arrived to unload the kits. “It is always a privilege to be of service to our neighbors," said Scott Trotter, Church spokesman. "We do our best to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and one way we do this is by helping others in need. We hope that our efforts in Humble will be a blessing to the community.” Garbis says the need for assistance "gets bigger every day," and HAAM is making every effort to meet people's needs. "Several people have asked what we are doing and we are trying to gear up for the long haul," said Garbis. "We are in need of hygiene products, diapers, pull ups, snacks for kids, peanut butter and any non-perishables." There are several drop spots in the community including Homewood Suites on the U.S. Highway 59 northbound feeder, Memorial Hermann Hospital on U.S. Highway 59 southbound feeder; Hubbard and Garrison Law Firm at 1306 Kingwood Drive, Suite 105; Cedar Landing Restaurant on 10614 FM 1960; and The Karate School at 7201 Atascocita Road. For more information on volunteer opportunities at HAAM, call 281-446-3663.