Local construction crew headed to Texas on humanitarian mission

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: Holly McCluskey stands next to donations gathered by the Greenlee Cheer Elite to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Velocity Builders is sending five trucks with supplies to the area.


By Brooke Curley

THATCHER – Five trucks,   a group of volunteers, and as much supplies as they can take. A Thatcher-based construction crew is headed to Texas to aid in humanitarian efforts. Although you probably can’t go with them, you can still help.

The initial plan was to head to Houston, Texas, the flood waters have not receded yet and the demand for clean up and restoration could be months away. Instead, a team from Velocity Builders are volunteering their time without pay, and will head to Victoria Texas to set up a work camp and then volunteer in the neighboring areas of Port Lavaca and Rock Port. The crew will be gone for roughly a week as they donate their construction and flood restoration services to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Contributed photo/ Courtesy of Brenda Christensen: This is an example of a family hygiene kit.

Doug Gardner is the Velocity Sales Manager, and is one of the individuals leading the group effort of the humanitarian mission.

Gardner’s wife has relatives in the Victoria area, and because of this, the Velocity team will have a small ranch to set up camp on. Working closely with the Port Lavaca Police Department, Gardner has already made plans so that the team can be productive during their stay. Aside from the Lavaca Police Department, Gardner is also working closely with the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints humanitarian group, and multiple Catholic churches.

“It’s going to be an adventure. We’re excited and we’re nervous. But it’s a mess down there,” Gardner said. “But to provide relief for some of those people. That’s the main thing.”

Contributed photo/ Courtesy of Brenda Christensen: The hygiene kits consist of simple necessities in plastic bags.


With contacts made and a plan in hand, the team will be headed out to Texas in the first week of  September. However, until they depart they will be accepting items Gila Valley locals are willing to donate to help those who need it in Texas. Also, they will be accepting donations to help fund their traveling and operational expenses, which will cost roughly $20,000.

The team will also be gathering much needed humanitarian supplies and hygiene kits to be given to shelters. The hygiene kits will be put together by local Just Serve organizer Brenda Christensen and her volunteers. Christensen is still accepting donations for hygiene kits. For information on what’s needed, Christensen can be contacted at (928)-322-1457. Christensen will be putting the kits together on Sunday afternoon.

Although the team is accepting essentials such as water, and canned food, the crew requests that the donations are put into standard sized boxes for easy loading. However, the volunteer team is no longer accepting clothes. Also, they ask those interested in donating items, to bring the items to the Velocity Builders office in Thatcher at: 3909 W Main Street during operating business hours. The office will be open specifically over the weekend in order to collect donations: Friday the office will be open from 8:00am-8:00 pm, Saturday 8:00am-8:00 pm, 8:00am-3:00 pm Sunday, and 10:00am-5:00 pm on Monday. To donate money to aid the crew’s traveling and operating expenses, click here: http://www.velocity.builders/index.php/restoration

Supplies that are especially needed include:

Baby formula
Baby Diapers
Baby Wet Wipes
Canned Goods