Alan Moyer was watching coverage of the devastation in the Houston area from Hurricane Harvey and wanted to pack up his motorcycle trailer full of supplies and head down there.
Instead, the Jarrettsville man approached businesses in the northern Harford area about being drop-off sites for donations to the hurricane victims. And what started as a handful of businesses – Jarrettsville Creamery and all six branches of The Mill – has grown to nearly a dozen sites where people can drop off necessity items for the people who lost everything.
“Everything I was seeing on TV, it just hit me. I’m so blessed,” he said. “Look around at how blessed we are.”
Moyer stationed a box truck for the day at Jarrettsville Creamery on West Jarrettsville Road, not far from the intersection of Route 165.
Donated by Forest Hill Kitchen and Bath, the truck had already been filled up twice Sunday by mid-afternoon. Volunteers were then filling up a trailer on loan from Steve Hess at Forest Hill Kitchen and Bath.
Kip Jacobin and Travis Shock from Forest Hill Kitchen and Bath, friends of Moyer’s, have also been picking up donations from the various sites across northern Harford County.
“They’ve been running their truck all over the county picking up stuff,” Moyer said.
In addition to The Mill and Jarrettsville Creamery, donation drop-off sites include Jarrettsville Barbershop, Eats and Sweets, Smith Hardware, Jack’s Small Engine, Foards Parts Plus, Delta Lumber, Kefauver Lumber, Unique Scapes, Jarrettsville Pharmacy, Art-related Technologies, Poe’s Restaurant, Columbie Music and Games, Cardinal Distribution and Chadwell Animal Hospital.
The last day donations will be accepted varies from site to site, so Moyer recommended contacting the various locations.
He intends to cut off all donations on Sept. 11. In the meantime, everything is being stored in BGC Cheer & Tumble North in Whiteford, which Moyer said rolled up all its gymnastics mats to make room for all the items.
HP HOOD in New York, has offered a tractor trailer to drive Moyer and the donations to Houston on Sept. 13. They’ll be delivering the items to Saint Basil Greek Orthodox Church in Houston. Moyer is a member of Annunciation Cathedral in Baltimore; the pastors of both churches are good friends.
Moyer said one tractor trailer might not be enough given how much has been donated. He said he might need two to three more. If anyone would like to donate a means of transportation, call Moyer at 443-986-2200.
The response – in terms of businesses offering materials or to be a drop-off site and people making donations – has been overwhelming, Moyer said.
“I can’t think of any other word,” he said. “I get choked up. This community — look at this.”
Harford County is a “very giving place,” he said. People from outside the county are also pitching in – his friends from Pittsburgh drove 4 ½ hours Sunday to help him and his wife, Irene.
“They’re just doing it, doing it together, getting it done,” he said.
A handful of people were volunteering at the collection site Sunday, while a man from Texas played guitar and sang.
“There’s no boss, no leader, instead it’s just a bunch of local people getting together because they know what’s going on in Texas,” Moyer said.
One of those volunteers was Vince Evans, of Jarrettsville.
“This is just an extension of friendship, family, reach out to people that need help,” Evans said. “This is truly an outpouring of understanding what people’s needs are down in Texas.”
Owners Bill and Susan Stevenson didn’t think twice when Moyer asked if Jarrettsville Creamery could be a drop-off site.
“It’s needed, it needs to be done. Those people lost everything, not just some things,” Bill Stevenson said. “He came to us, we didn’t have to think about it. These are the kinds of things we do.”
The ice cream store and deli will also host a fundraiser from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, when 10 percent of all sales will go to the people of Houston.