Truckin’: From Westport To Houston In 3 (Not So) Easy Days

Last Saturday, dozens of people headed to the Imperial Avenue parking lot. They dropped off piles of goods, for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Soon, a 30-foot truck loaded with donations headed south.

Adam Goldberg — the Westporter who masterminded the effort — sends this report:

After a successful packing job, with many residents moving and lifting boxes, the Aquafence truck went on its way.

But just an hour in — by Elizabeth, New Jersey — the driver noticed something was not right. After a diagnostic test, he discovered the truck was 100% overweight.

Scrambling for a solution, we found an article about the Elizabeth Fire Department doing a donation drive for Harvey victims. To their surprise, our truck pulled up with donations for their truck.

We gave them 1/3 of our stuff — mostly used clothing and some heavier gear. We knew it would eventually make it to Texas, so we felt good.

The New Jersey transfer: from the Westport Aquafence truck, to the Elizabeth one.

There was more to come. The truck had 2 flat tires on the way, but arrived safely in Houston Tuesday morning — only 1 day behind schedule.

Our first assigned location was the Kingwood relief center. The neighborhood was hit hard, and many people lost everything. We unloaded half our items there, focusing on what they needed most.

We then headed to our 2nd drop site. The Church Without Walls was a much larger facility, serving much of western Houston.

As with Kingwood, while we were not the only truck delivering supplies that day, they were thrilled to see us. They offered us a meal, a hug and a huge thank you.

Adding to the donations in Houston.

It was now 3 p.m. We had been delivering goods since 8 a.m., but we had one more task ahead of us that day.

Our next mission was to provide a delicious hot meal for those in need. We had been lined up to cook for the Southeast Houston relief center on Wednesday for 200 people. But local authorities asked us to cook instead for a funeral honoring a police sergeant and first responder who died in the storm.

With the support of our intended cooking spot to switch our venue, it was now up to another Westporter, Jason Epstein, who had flown down to help prepare food for 500 or more people.

We also needed to buy the grills and cooking supplies, which were to be donated after the cook. With the help of some amazing locals who joined us, we pulled it all off.

We made beef, chicken and shrimp tacos. But the biggest hit was the kale Caesar salad.

Grilling in Houston, Westport-style: Jason Epstein (left) and Adam Goldberg.

The cash donations we’d collected, from a Westport lemonade stand and others, went to an amazing cause. Three large grills, along with 2 generators, were delivered to the Southeast Houston Relief Mission. They still lack electricity, but now they can serve hot meals every day.

When our 2 days were over, we delivered our vehicle to the Houston FEMA office. They gave us a fascinating tour of central command — and were even kind enough to drive us to the airport.

We’re back now. But we will never forget this amazing experience helping others.

FEMA’s Houston headquarters.

 

27 responses to “Truckin’: From Westport To Houston In 3 (Not So) Easy Days

  1. #houstonstrong and #westportproud ! Amazing work guys.

  2. What a terrific story. These guys did a really good thing…. it goes to show how much good we can accomplish when we stop the bickering and labeling: Democrat / Republican; Protestor / Counter protestor; you get my point!

    Nothing like a disaster to bring people together. Let’s stop the fighting and really make America the best it can be… that would be just great.

  3. Absolutely heartwarming and represents what who we are. Thank you for all you did., a true inspiration to us all

  4. Dan,

    Maybe it is just me but the original AquaFence article plus this seems like promotion. I guess your posts often mention company names but since I have a history with this company (and know Adam) it resonates more so. A noble effort but it doesn’t sit well with me. Just thought I’d share my personal opinion with you (and another person commented similarly.)

    By the way, there is a national coastal clean-up this Saturday. Sherwood, Compo, even the river. My wife and I will meet the river group at Patagonia Saturday @ 2:30. Perhaps that could also be viewed as promotion but I see it differently.

    Food for thought.

    Thank you,

    Richard

    >

    • Thanks, Richard, but I disagree. I mentioned the company once or twice; it’s their truck that was used, and donated. I’m sorry you have an issue with that. Thanks for promoting the Patagonia event, which is also important.

  5. I guess when Bombas donates 7 million socks to the homeless based on one sock per each sock sold they should do it anonymously? I think the 100 + hours of work Adam and his crew put in, the money to feed 500 other volunteers and first responders, the money for the grills and the donation of a 30 ft truck is nothing more than charitable. People identify with many things, including their work. Time for some coffee Dick (Richard)?

    • Agree. I would rather do business with a company who is generous and charitable, so when they advertise as such, all the better.

  6. Lori Winthrop Dockser

    #westportproud

  7. Let’s give credit where credit is due! Why not acknowledge a more than generous effort, they put forth a huge one! I was only too glad to help as we’re many others why would we care if a company sponsored good will?
    Some comments are hard to believe in such trying times!

  8. I like to know the company Adam owns. I did not read it as a promotion either. He went above and beyond (and not his first time either) Many people own companies, but everyone goes to the lengths he did… Also, I now know that his product exist, and I think its a product whose time has come….

  9. What a great undertaking … how someone could have an issue w/ a progress report on a humanitarian effort is mind-boggling. It is Dan’s blog btw, so he can write/post on any subject he deems fit (and include company names as he see’s fit) Great job Adam Goldberg!

  10. Proof of what is good in this world. What an extraordinary, multi-pronged “doing good” job. Thank you, Adam, for restoring some faith in humanity!

  11. With all the tradgedy in Houston and Florida I am still baffled by someone making such a negative comment! So much help is needed and will be needed for months to come!

  12. Thank you

    >

  13. Judith Ann Johnston

    On behalf of my relatives and many friends in Houston – some who lost everything – I thank
    you – so proud of Westport and this determined
    crew of volunteers.
    hoUSTon

    • Sylvia Robinson Corrigan

      Hi Judith – a voice from the past here in Westport! I hope you and loved ones are all right. Remembering you and your family fondly…

      • Judith Ann Johnston

        Hello Sylvia – good to hear from you.
        I am still in Connecticut but my two kids in Houston
        and all of Donald’s relatives in Beaumont area.
        Harvey was absolutely devastating and will
        take years to rebuild so many destroyed homes and neighborhoods.
        Take care!

  14. Adam Goldberg put his money and his hard effort to work. people came out to support him and if more structures used his product the next time it would save flood damage and huge insurance claims. Nice job Adam and Company!

  15. Sally Campbell Palmer

    Thank you all very much for your efforts from a proud hometowner!

  16. Michele Coppotelli Solis

    ADAM GOLDBERG AND AQUAFENCE AND ALL DONATING WESTPORTERS ….A huge thank you from Houston. I am from Westport but now live in western Houston. I have had minimal damage but hundreds of my neighbors surrounding me lost everything including some close friends. As I read the article I cried. Until you go through something like this you really can not comprehend how bad it really is, emotionally, mentally, physically. You also can not comprehend how much it means that others care enough to actually do something about it.

    I am so very proud to be a Westporter and a Houstonian, especially today.

    God Bless Westport.

  17. You guys rock!

  18. Mary Cookman Schmerker '58

    MIchele’s comment is perfect. As another hometowner transplanted to the Houston area, thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts. Houston does have heart and will remember your kindness. Just to add a bit of humor, thank you for proving that Yankees can grill. I’m truly impressed with the shrimp tacos. You know how to reach the hearts of Houstonians! On a serious note, the fallen officers dedication to duty was amazing. Thank you for the comfort you gave in the form of a meal for his family and fellow officers. They were working around the clock, doing their duty while their families were left to fend for themselves. Many officers lost personal cars to the flood and had losses to their homes as well but duty called and they answered. Thank you for answering the call to serve them. Florida has been in the crosshairs of weather also. We can all begin to see what help they will need.

  19. I am stunned by the comment made by Dick Hyman when he crapped all over the sincerity of the great feat that AQUAFENCE performed. I hope that
    AQUAFENCE is getting even more publicity and notoriety because of Hyman’s statement than they ever dreamed of getting. Maybe Goldberg was just doing an awesome thing after a horrendous event ?

    People need to be nice to one another ! If you can’t do that , then please keep your unhappiness within you.
    I think that people quite often don’t understand the meaning of what they are saying……….example, there was an 06880 article a few days ago about our Town dump, and one of the commenters made reference to somebody pulling in forward , rather than backing in and what happened when the commenter “confronted” the person about their parking job—— why did the person not just politely explain to the parker of the car that cars need to be backed in ? Why was the person ” confronted” ?
    One last comment on a separate note……Beach season has basically ended so the whole debate about the craziness surrounding overflowing parking, overflowing people on the beach, tents, etc…….all of that now gets forgotten for another year ? I hope not, and I don’t even use the beach.
    Limit the number of daily stickers per day !
    And can the flow of out of towners being dropped off somehow be stopped ?
    Shouldn’t the beach be for the enjoyment of tax paying Westporters first and foremost, and if the experience is going downhill, shouldn’t something be done ? Don’t drop this issue.

  20. Michele Coppotelli Solis

    TMichele
    I whole hearted agree with everyone of your comments
    Well said!

  21. That is a great story! Thanks for sharing it.

  22. You two fellows ROCK!!!!

  23. As a former Westporter, now residing in Kingwood, TX, I was very happy to read of this effort to provide relief supplies to residents of Kingwood and greater Houston. We were dealing with our own flood issues (3 feet of water in the house) so had no idea they had come through. Would have liked to meet them and thank them personally.
    Just in Kingwood 5000+ homes flooded and a majority had no flood insurance, many lost all belongings. We were fortunate to have flood insurance and can live in our upstairs while rehab goes on. We also stayed during the flood and were able to save most of our important belongings.
    Great job!

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