Houstonians rallying for donations as Central America braces for another hurricane

HOUSTON – As Central America braces for another devastating hurricane, Houstonians and organizations here at home are ramping up efforts to help families who will need it for months to come.

“Alla las familias perdieron todo,” said Houstonian Gloria Alvarez.

Alvarez said it’s just devastating to see families who lost everything in her home country, Honduras, and the rest of Central America.

“We have friends who had their parents' properties and their houses out there and they lost absolutely everything,” said Houstonian Francys Alvarez.

Their family, who owns a shipping company, organized a huge donation drive to get needed items to families in Honduras.

“Our goal was to fill a container, a 40-foot high cube. We filled it up. We wrapped every single box. We taped every single box,” said Jairo Mendez, who helped organize the donation drive.

They plan to ship over the container then fly down and hand out items directly to families in need.

“If I go to Honduras to have fun and visit family, then it’s only right to go and support my community and my country,” Mendez said.

“The infrastructure of those countries is not like here, they are very weak. It’s going to be devastated now,” said Victor Medina, with Houston for Honduras.

Victor Medina runs the organization Houston for Honduras. He’s taking collections inside Honduras Maya restaurant on Bellaire Boulevard. He remembers Hurricane Mitch more than 20 years ago. He lost family then and he knows firsthand how devastating these disasters can be.

“We’re not recuperated yet and then we get a second one. It’s devastation down there right now,” Medina said.

In Midtown, the organization Alianza Latina Internacional is also gathering donations. They are praying that hurricane Iota, set to hit Monday night with winds topping 130 mph, does not take any more lives.

“They are thinking this is going to be harder than the first one because they are already living in the streets they don’t even have tents or shelter,” said Martina Grifaldo, Executive Director of Alianza Latina Internacional.

“Anything they can give we will be here if they want to drop off donations,” said Johanna Galvis, who is helping collect items.

Donations needed include baby formula, diapers, blankets, toiletries, canned goods, sleeping bags, clothing of all sizes. Dog food is also being accepted.

Here’s how to help:

- If you’re interested in donating or volunteering with packing boxes, you can reach out to Jairo Mendez directly at Jmendezcrc@gmail.com

- To help out Houston for Honduras, you can drop off donations at the Honduras Maya Internacional Restaurant at 5941 Bellaire Boulevard.

- To reach Alianza Latina Internacional you can call (832) 836-7682 or (832)896-3204 or drop off items at 2404 Caroline Street. They are hosting a fundraiser on Nov. 21 at noon, where you can drop off donations. Food will be sold for 10$ a plate.