Gulf High grads collect donations for members of Houston church

Posted at 11:32 PM, Aug 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 10:53:25-04

Two Gulf High School graduates are teaming up to help hundreds of Houston church members in need following Harvey's devastation. 

"It was heart-wrenching," said Bryan Farris, of Tampa. 

As catastrophic images surfaced from historic flooding some 1,000 miles away, Farris grabbed his iPad and is now rallying relief efforts from Tampa. 
"I said I've got to do something," said Farris. "I've got to do whatever I can." 

The Facebook post has been shared several times and is now generating dozens of responses, many from complete strangers. 

"If everybody who has contacted me so far drops off, and that's it, we're going to have a lot of stuff," said Farris. "Clothes for all ages, shoes, sheets, towels, blankets, toilet trees, we need soaps, deodorants, shampoo, feminine hygiene products."

It's aid for hundreds of church members from Houston's First Baptist Church. 
"They either been in their attics, they've been rescued by boat, they've had 18 inches of water in their house," said pastor Stephen Smith. 

Smith grew up in New Port Richey and is now a pastor at the Houston megachurch. 

Both Smith and Farris are Gulf High School graduates who are now working to help some of the most needy victims following Harvey. 

"We all want to take care of our fellow Americans who are in trouble," said Farris. 

"Giving their lives away to us here in Houston is an unbelievable witness to us of kindness, an unbelievable testimony of generosity," said Smith. 

If you'd like to help, you can drop off donations at Gulf High School or Millennium Academy in New Port Richey or Greg Pilkington's office, located at 3102 SR 60 E. in Valrico. You can also show your support online via Houston's First Baptist Church website.