It's time to step up donation efforts for Hurricane Harvey survivors, Miami. The deadly storm has submerged entire communities in southeast Texas, and people are still being rescued from inundated homes nearly a week after landfall.
Harvey has triggered an outpouring of sympathy and support from Americans who wish to help victims in any way they can, but the people of Miami are especially eager to help. We know that the fate of Texans could have just as easily been ours. Less than a year ago, South Floridians barely dodged a direct hit from the even more powerful Hurricane Matthew, and as Hurricane Irma churns in the Atlantic and is forecast to become a Category 4 storm, Floridians and Texans alike remain on high alert.
Della Heiman, founder and CEO of the Wynwood Yard, began planning for a community donation collection the day after Harvey hit. She was inspired by the work of her friend Eryn Schultz, a Houstonian and partner at the Texas supermarket chain H-E-B, which is providing emergency response services to communities affected by the storm.
"Although we are too far to directly contribute to on-the-ground relief efforts, my team and I wanted to do something to help our friends in Houston and the community at large," Heiman says. "I think many South Floridians feel a strong urge to pitch in however they can, as the disaster could have just as easily happened to us here."
The Wynwood Yard, in partnership with the World Famous House of Mac and South Florida businesses and organizations, quickly plotted a Labor Day Hurricane Harvey benefit concert, whose donations will go to the Miami Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which will allocate contributions equally among Global Giving’s Hurricane Relief Fund, Houston nonprofit Bethel’s Place, and T.E.E.S., a nonprofit founded in Houston that will manage the logistics and shipping of local donations.
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Tickets to the concert, taking place Monday from 4 p.m. to midnight, are free with RSVP via eventbrite.com, but guests are strongly urged to purchase donation tickets to make a direct monetary contribution to the relief fund. There will also be an onsite donation booth to collect hygiene products, diapers, and toiletries. Live Nation and the Fillmore Miami Beach will donate two tickets to each of its September shows, including Modest Mouse, for a raffle to urge community participation. Vendors at the Yard will also give percentages of food sales to relief efforts on an individual basis, and 20 percent of all bar sales that day will also be donated to the Miami Hurricane Relief Fund. If you're going to drink on Labor Day, you might as well make sure the money goes to a good cause.
"When disasters of this scale occur, we often feel helpless in our inability to directly aid those in need from afar," Heiman says. "Donated relief funds and products can really make an impact, and it's inspiring to see our community coming together to amplify the volume of donated funds and goods. We have such a strong community in Miami, and I really hope that everyone will come out to support relief efforts for Houston this Monday. If we band together, we can make a difference."
Hurricane Harvey Benefit Concert. 4 p.m. Monday, September 4, at the Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami; 305-351-0366; thewynwoodyard.com. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com, but donations are strongly encouraged.