NEWBERRY COUNTY — Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster has started a drive to collect gift cards to send to Houston, Texas, for their first responders and he is asking for the community’s support.
The collection of gift cards began last week, and will continue until it appears no more gift cards will be donated, at which point Foster said they will send them to Houston. As to where they will be sent, Foster said they are looking into that.
“We will either send them to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, which is a huge county that encompasses Houston, or we will send them to the Houston Police Department. I am acquainted with the police chief there, Art Acevedo. I have served on several committees with him, through the National Institute of Justice. He is a phenomenal individual,” Foster said. “We are either going to do that or we are going to send them to the Texas Sheriff’s Association and let them distribute them.”
The idea came from people calling the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and wanting to do something in support of Houston. After thinking about it in prayer, this is what the Sheriff’s Office decided to do.
“The Houston area that was the hardest hit, and Beaumont and those areas there, that is about a 12 to 15 hour drive, and packing up a truck with water and clothes and getting down there is just a logistical problem,” Foster said. “We got to talking around here and said what about the first responders, police, fire, EMS, they lived in that area, their houses were destroyed as well, but they have not been able to take care of their own business. We thought maybe we could do something for them. Easiest way to do it, get a gift card from Lowe’s or Walmart or any of those national chain stores that can help them, as a gesture.”
Foster requests that if you purchase a gift card to be sent, make sure it is a national chain store. He said most every community has a Walmart or Lowe’s. He did say they are not particularly asking for a Visa money card, because those may lose money if not spent right away.
“We are also asking people, if they would, put a card with it, maybe some words of encouragement and thanks so that wherever the cards are distributed they kinda know it came from a certain person in Newberry County, add a little personal touch,” Foster said.
The drop off location will be at the Sheriff’s Office, 550 Wilson Road. You can also mail the cards to that same address, or to P.O. Box 247 in Newberry (29108).
“We would like to know who it came from, so that the police officer, deputy sheriff, fire fighter or paramedic will know who it came from. That would be a neater twist, than just getting a box full of cards from Newberry County,” Foster said.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.