Union works with Emergency Aid Coalition to hand out $100 Kroger gift cards to HPD Hurricane Harvey victims

Tom Kennedy

Teamwork and an HPD connection resulted in 175 officers and civilian personnel adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey’s flood waters to each receive $100 Kroger gift cards for groceries just in time for the holidays.

The cards were distributed by the Emergency Aid Coalition, a Houston non-profit interfaith coalition that distributes food, clothing and other essentials to people in need.

Melina Dickinson said the collation was the recipient of a United Way grant that paid for the gift cards. Dickinson said initially there was a question of who could best be served with the gift cards.

The brainstorming process began. “We went through lots of possibilities,” said Dickinson, a senior pantry coordinator for the coalition. “They were Christmas grocery cards and we said, ‘Let’s take care of the people who take care of us.’

“A lot of police officers were affected and it seemed like the right thing to do.”

A mother from the same school Dickinson’s daughter attends knew a Houston police officer. The officer supplied Dickinson with the HPOU number and she got 3rd Vice President Tom Hayes on the phone.

“He got the ball started,” she explained. “We wanted to help HPD officers and any of the people that work in the offices that were affected.

“The Union was really awesome in helping us with the list of people. It only twwok two or three days. I talked to Tom Hayes on Thursday or Friday and by Tuesday we were giving out cards at the Union.”