Harvey relief donations fill UA truck headed for Houston - Tucson News Now

Harvey relief donations fill UA truck headed for Houston

Donated items were packed inside the Arizona Football equipment truck on Sunday, Sept. 3 (Source: KOLD) Donated items were packed inside the Arizona Football equipment truck on Sunday, Sept. 3 (Source: KOLD)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Hurricane Harvey relief efforts are benefiting from that collegiate spirit.

From Sunday, Sept. 3 until Friday, Sept. 8, the University of Arizona athletics department is helping out an opponent. That friendly competition is turning out to be quite fruitful.

Thousands of donated items filled the Suddath Relocation Services tractor trailer on Sunday. The large truck, adorned with U of A football logos, is parked on National Championship Drive, on the east side of Arizona Stadium.

Hundreds of people had come by to drop off various things, being directly delivered to Houston. The Bachelder family came prepared.

"We brought diapers, and wipes, and cleaning supplies," said Laurie Bachelder, who showed up with her husband and granddaughter.

Bachelder said she was in Dallas last week for work, and had coworkers who were directly impacted, when Hurricane Harvey his southeast Texas, near Houston.

When she heard the announcement that the school was collecting items, at Saturday night's Arizona football game against NAU, she jumped at the opportunity.

"It was pretty easy. We just went and got some stuff and dropped it off down here. They're going to take care of all the rest, so that's good. And it's also something we trust that is going to actually get there and get used," she said.

The collection effort is a partnership between the university and Suddath Relocation. Suddath has operated the Arizona football equipment truck for more than a decade.

"We received a call from UA Athletics on Monday, asking if we'd be willing to do this," said Mel Reyes, Suddath Relocation Services VP and General Manager in Tucson.

They are willing to help the other team. The University of Houston Cougars football team will come to Tucson for the football game on Saturday, Sept. 9.

But when the final whistle blows, no matter the outcome, they won't leave empty-handed.

The Arizona football equipment truck, filled with donated items, will follow Houston's equipment truck right back to the heartland.

"It's absolutely incredible. The response that we've received from the Tucson community is way more than we even expected," Reyes said.

The truck is also full of love, well-wishes, and things of need. Best of all, those donations are personally delivered by people, like Bachelder, who sympathize with the struggle.

"We're hoping that it actually gets to somebody who really needs it and can't get it otherwise, and that it makes a difference in making things a little bit better for them. Letting them, probably more than anything, know that somebody else cares," she said.

The athletic department is specifically looking for donations of hygiene products, cleaning supplies and diapers. Click this link to see the list and times for when you can drop off items: http://bit.ly/2wqqXTk

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