PATH Asks For Volunteers, Donations - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


PATH Asks For Volunteers, Donations

A Smith County organization that provides emergency assistance to families is in need of help. PATH is feeling the strain from all the recent evacuees saying it's looking for volunteers and donations to be able to continue to provide needed services.

"I gotta take care of my family and all I have on me is $7 right now," said Omen Roy, 29, a Port Author evacuee. Roy is one of hundreds of people who have requested assistance from PATH. The agency has set up a temporary food pantry at the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Tyler. Volunteers say it's been non-stop work since the agency opened that location yesterday. "Our demand has stayed pretty constant since we opened here. There's constantly a line," said Greg Grubb, a PATH volunteer.

PATH says by the end of today, it expects to have provided food to more than 700 families. "The food that we have now at this FEMA DRC is 15,000 lbs. of food per day. That's three times as much as we would normally order in one week's time for the path pantry and we're going through it every day," said Christina Fulsom, the Executive Director at PATH.

What kind of effect could the additional demand have on Smith County residents who might need assistance from PATH in the future?  "I think if the community does not help us contribute and bring in the people who are evacuated that we will in fact, have less available, for people who needed assistance to begin with and who live in Smith County," said Fulsom. "At this point in time in order to address the disaster relief effort, we need a lot of volunteers. We need a lot of monetary contributions to be able to take care of what's happening right now."

PATH says there are plenty of options to get involved in its effort. "Whether you want to interact directly with the people, whether you want to stock food in the pantry, there are many opportunities to serve," said Grubb.

PATH plans to keep its temporary pantry open for two weeks.

Oralia Ortega reporting,


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