A Bridesburg teen collected donations for Hurricane Harvey relief
Sitting over 1,500 miles away from the city of Houston, it can be difficult for Philadelphians to truly comprehend the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey. However, it’s been made clear across numerous news platforms that the city’s residents need all of the assistance they can get.
Wanting to help out in whatever way she could, 17-year-old Destiny Krings of Bridesburg jumped at the opportunity when her 35-year-old uncle, Roy McCann of Severna Park, Md., asked if she had any items to donate. He explained to her that his plan was to collect items and then to travel to Port Arthur, 91 miles east of Houston, to deliver them to people in need.
After rummaging through her closet and designating items to donate, Krings decided she would also ask members of her community if they had items they wished to donate. Thus, she took to the Bridesburg, PA community page on Facebook to inform others about her and McCann’s efforts.
“I was devastated [when I heard about the damage in Texas] because my aunt lives there and to see so many people lose everything and some lose their lives broke my heart,” Krings, who lives at the intersection of Bridge and Tacony streets, said. “I posted on Facebook informing people of what my uncle was doing and asking if they had anything to donate. I wanted to help out in any way I could.”
Although she anticipated that only a few people might reach out to help, Krings did not predict the level of outreach and support she received. Spanning across the few days she collected during the first week of September, Krings even offering to pick up the items being donated herself, she was able to collect animal food, kids toys, clothes for every age and more.
“Overall, I was just shocked because I was not expecting so many donations. It made me feel really good because I was able to help out in some type of way,” Krings said. “At the end of the day, we are are all human and this shows that no matter where you’re from, the color of your skin, or the differences that you have, we can come together in a time of need.”
McCann drove to Bridesburg from Maryland on Saturday, Sept. 2 to pick up all of the locally donated items. He then left the neighborhood on Sunday, Sept. 3, ready to make the approximately 23-hour trek to Port Arthur.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my niece for her help,” McCann, who added that it’s in his blood to help others, said. “At just 17 years old, she did amazing things by helping other people.”
On Monday, Sept. 4, McCann arrived and met with Sandra LaDay of the organization, People Supporting People, which is a nonprofit helping to raise money for local soup kitchens and people in need. While meeting with her, McCann additionally helped two National Guard trailers full of supplies for people within the state.
“I wish there was a lot more I could do to help help Harvey victims,” Krings said. “I will try to do whatever I can to help others of future natural disasters. I don’t like seeing anyone suffer.”
Note: While on his way home from Texas, McCann’s trailer was sideswiped while on Interstate 81 in Tennessee. His vehicle and everything on board was lost. Although unharmed, McCann said that he should not have been able to walk away from the accident due to its severity, but asks to be kept in people’s prayers for the time being.