SoCal organization steps up to help victims of Hurricane Harvey

- Hilda Franco is stuffing care bags for first responders in Houston knowing one of these bags might end up in her husband’s hands.

“Knowing that my husband is there, it makes me so proud and it makes me so worried at the same time,” Franco said.

Franco’s husband who is a firefighter with LA City Fire’s Task Force One is deployed to the hurricane disaster zone. "I felt like ok, he’s out there doing something I need to do something too,” Franco said. “I felt like I had to do this, it’s one small part of what I can do to help.”

Franco joined dozens of other volunteers at Operation Gratitude’s warehouse in Chatsworth. The organization, which helps military and first responders, is preparing to ship essentials to those on the front lines of Tropical Storm Harvey.

When emergency workers are on duty for days on end volunteers know these small bags can make a big difference.

“He’s just overwhelmed,” Franco said of her husband. “They have a lot to do.” In just a days time volunteers did a lot too - preparing more than 1700 bags.

The organization is also collecting items to send to flood victims. They are asking for donations of hand/foot warmers, socks, towels, diapers and wipes, children’s clothing, snack bars and jerky.

Donations can be made to the warehouse Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 21100 Lassen Street, Chatsworth. Volunteers are also welcome during those hours to stuff bags for first responders.

Other local relief agencies are getting supplies ready too.

Operation USA is planning to ship medical necessities from their Wilmington warehouse in the next few days.

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