As the weather subsides from our recent bout with Hurricane Ike, we now begin the long and tedious process of recovery. With hundreds of thousands of Texans displaced or without food and water, it is time for all of us to come together and help those in need.

As we know from previous storms, the recovery process can be an expensive and drawn out ordeal for individuals picking up the pieces after a natural disaster. To respond to those in need of relief, programs and private charities are currently accepting donations.

I strongly encourage families, churches, and service organizations to take up collections of supplies and money to be donated to those in need. This is a trying time for families along the coast, and it is important that we extend a helping hand to our neighbors.

For donations and volunteer information contact:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency- 1 (800) 621- FEMA

The American Red Cross- 1 (800) RED CROSS

The State Office of Emergency Management- 1 (512) 424-2208

Donations may also be mailed to:

Office of the Governor

Texas Disaster Relief Fund

P.O. Box 12878

Austin, TX 78711-2878

Additionally, for anyone unable to contact an evacuee they may refer to www.safeandwell.org for updates and locations of friends and family members.

State Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles