The Coastal Bend was the first area hit by Hurricane Harvey. We were the first to come together to show love and support for each other. We were also the first forgotten. Our local communities continue to keep an optimistic attitude as our area recovers. Several local entities are still in need of volunteers and donations as they continue to provide long-term relief and resources to those still recovering from the hurricane.

The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group (CBDRG) is a state recognized nonprofit organization tasked with providing long-term disaster recovery. The CBDRG continues to identify the unmet needs of the citizens across the Coastal Bend. In order to successfully address all the needs, they are in need of volunteers and donations. Besides monetary donations, the CBDRG requests large equipment donations. The specific equipment needed includes forklifts, loaders, rolloff construction debris containers, scaffolding/ladders, nail guns with compressors, and/or truck crane or lull with articulating boom. If you are able to donate or lend any of these large items, please visit The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group. To volunteer with the CBDRG, please register at CBDRG Volunteer Registration. To donate to the CBDRG Fund, managed by the Coastal Bend Community Foundation, please visit the Coastal Bend Community Foundation.

The Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau created the Hurricane Harvey: Watch Port A Rebuild webpage to keep everyone apprised of the continued needs of Port Aransas and Mustang Island citizens and businesses. You can access several webpages full of important information on this website like where to find House & Home Related Services, TWIA Claims Support Centers, contact information to inquire about volunteering, and more. You can also find the link to the New Day Port A Fund. All donations are utilized solely in the recovery of the “building blocks” in the Port Aransas community. The building blocks include: housing, schools, businesses, churches, and the workforce.

The United Way of the Coastal Bend (UWCB) is another great local organization that continues to provide hurricane relief resources. Their Hurricane Relief Center webpage contains portals to donate to their Disaster Relief Fund, Hurricane Resources, the latest news on recovery in the Coastal Bend, etc. To access the Disaster Relief Fund to donate, explore how the fund works, and the reports on how the funds have been allocated, please visit UWCB Hurricane Relief Center. Their comprehensive list of available Hurricane Resources for basic needs, food, clean up, etc. can be found at UWCB Hurricane Resources.

Over the past 4 months, our area has made tremendous progress in recovery and the rebuild. It is great to see so many local businesses and restaurants reopening. There is still work to be done, of course. Let us all continue to do what we can to ensure the Coastal Bend is made whole again.

If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).

– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32

Rep. Hunter represents Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at todd.hunter@house.texas.gov or at 512-463-0672