WHAM on Frontlines of Helping Those Affected by
COVID-19: Need for Support, Volunteers Paramount

West Houston Assistance Ministries (WHAM) continues serving people in need despite the challenges and difficulties presented by the COVID-19 crisis. WHAM has transitioned to a low- to no-contact approach to offering its services, which includes moving to phone-based financial appointments and having people pick up boxes of food. The demand for services is increasing.
 
Cars line up at WHAM to receive donated food.
The Wire
reported last week about WHAM's heightened situation. "We are very concerned about the impact of coronavirus on those we serve," said Reverend Mark Brown, chief executive officer of WHAM. "Many are struggling, with that number growing daily, not just with health issues, but with financial issues as well. They will need food, help with the bills, help to get another job. This is our work, to help those in crisis. But, we need your help to help them."

As schools transition to an online learning environment for the rest of the year, WHAM supports many families who don't have the resources to complete online learning. "We are looking to raise funds to be able to give computers to these families," said Brown. "Our goal is to raise $22,500 to provide 225 laptops."

Answering WHAM's call, the Westchase District Community Fund (WDCF) will make a $2000 contribution today to WHAM, as it works daily to address very specific needs in our area of West Houston.

WHAM staffers are experiencing increased and urgent needs for services. 

Last Wednesday, WHAM was able to provide food to more than 100 families and conducted 10 financial assistance appointments. As well as handing out food at WHAM, the team went to Paul Revere Middle School and joined Grace Presbyterian Church to hand out food.

WHAM needs donations of canned soups, beans, and meats as well as dry beans, rice, peanut butter, jelly, mac and cheese, pasta, spaghetti sauce, cereal, shelf stable milk, water, boxed juices, cleaning supplies, and medium sized boxes. Items can be dropped off at WHAM, 10 a.m. to 2 pm, Monday through Friday at 10501 Meadowglen Ln. If you would like to help through donations of items such as food boxes, monetary gifts, or by volunteering, please visit    WHAM.



Emergency Blood Drives This Friday, Saturday at Grace Presbyterian Church


While recommendations are to stay at home, blood donations are allowed and desperately needed during this time. You can save three lives with one blood donation. 

As the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is facing a severe blood shortage, Grace Presbyterian Church has responded by opening its doors to the Blood Center. Volunteers are needed to give blood this week.

Blood drives at Grace will be held on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Grace's Massey-Tucker Hall at 10221 Ella Lee Ln.

The Blood Center is following all heightened CDC recommendations regarding sanitization and safety to provide a clean, safe environment for donation.  The Blood Center is accepting online appointments and will make sure physical distancing is well maintained. (Note: Everything used is designated for one person and then sent home with them or disposed, i.e. squeeze ball, blankets, etc...) 

To donate, please register using the following links:
Friday, March 27: Register  HERE
Saturday, March 28: Register  HERE.

For those unable to make either dates, visit the Westchase Neighborhood Donor Center in the Carillon Shopping Center at 10001 Westheimer Road, Suite 2117 by appointment only, Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.



Palazzo's Creates Menu to Help Customers Get Household Needs: Staples, Paper Items Available

Palazzo's owner John Moore is tapping 24 years of his company's strength in food delivery to now deliver pantry items to people who are sheltering in place. "This is especially helpful for seniors who can't get out and about," said Moore.

"After you order, our own delivery team will deliver and leave at your door. There is minimal to no contact when items are delivered," said Moore who  is also leveraging his restaurants' vendors to provide products that people need.  "The supply chain for a restaurant is different than a grocery store and we can get things where shortages exist," he said. "We wanted a way to help our community and help keep our employees employed." 

With patrons unable to dine in at restaurants due to social distancing guidelines, the closures around the nation have resulted in major layoffs of restaurant workers.  The restaurant industry employs one of the country's largest labor pools. Westchase District encourages all to continue supporting restaurants who have implemented curbside pick-up and food delivery services. Click on food icon here to find restaurants in the District.

Moore stressed that he has most products (toilet paper and paper towels) that people need other than disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. "This is a great way to support our employees and not compete with shortages found at grocery stores." Contact Palazzo's at 713-785-8800 to place your orders in advance for curbside pick up at 10455 Briar Forest at Beltway 8 or for delivery. Moore has been using social media and emailing his customers directly to get the word out.


  Thursdays @ 3 p.m.  *Rain or shine* St. Cyril of Alexandria Catholic Church
10503 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77042 (at Rogerdale, just west of Beltway 8)


Farmers Market Offers Option to Grocery Stores 

Farmers markets are a great part of the grocery supply chain. The Westchase District Farmers Market continues to operate every Thursday. Coming to the Farmers Market helps support small business and is an alternative way to get food while supporting vendors. As an open air market, the farmers market is currently one of the safest ways to get food as over buying has affected grocery store supplies.

We are following CDC guidelines and have revised our procedures accordingly. Our vendors are taking precautionary measures to minimize health risks to themselves and customers by observing strict food safety practices to provide a safe environment to buy food items. 

PEAS Farms is using stanchions to allow customers to maintain safe distances when selecting produce.

Changes include:
  1. Booths are maintaining a distance of six feet apart.
  2. Hand sanitizer is available at each booth.
  3. No samples
  4. No touching any food. You point and the vendors will bag it up for you. 
  5. Please do not come if you are sick or feel like you might be getting sick.
  6. We will also have entrance and exit procedures so that the market does not exceed ordered capacity limits.
Please support our vendors during this difficult time as our nation responds to unprecedented circumstances. 


 

Houston West Chamber of Commerce Launches West Houston Businesses Facebook Group Page


The Houston West Chamber of Commerce has created a Facebook group called Support West Houston Businesses in order to combat the economic downturn effects from COVID-19. HWCOC will be posting updates, resources for its members and offers from business and restaurants to help them out. See additional resources at H
WCOC's website.


Small Business Administration Has Assistance Program Information for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19


The Small Business Administration (SBA) is coordinating with Texas Department of Emergency Management and is processing Texas' SBA Disaster Request for the State of Texas. View information on how SBA is working with Texas Department of Emergency Management and is processing the state's request. Also included are other helpful links plus a daily schedule of webinars. 

Westchase District is also attaching slides from COVID-19 webinar presentation with functional links on how to access the SBA disaster assistance presented by the SBA today.  See presentation


Westchase District Staff Are Working Remotely. All Staff Are Available by Phone or Email

The Westchase District team is available by phone or email. Click here for contacts.


About Westchase District
Westchase District is a municipal management district funded by local property owners in a 4.2 square-mile area centered on Sam Houston Tollway between I-10 and US-59 on the west side of Houston, Texas. 

The district promotes growth by enhancing: 
  • Mobility
  • Beautification 
  • Public Safety
  • Planning and Development

 

Have District-related news on how your business or organization is responding to COVID-19? 

Send it with your contact info to:cjacinto@westchasedistrict.com. 

 

Approved items may be altered for clarity, length and style, and will appear as our editorial calendar permits.  

 

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