HOUSTON – After former Houston Texan Arian Foster and his brother Abdul Foster got through Hurricane Harvey OK they decided to do something to help those who weren’t so fortunate.
On Thursday the pair opened up Abdul’s gym for an all-day supply drive to collect food, clothing, toiletries and other items to distribute to those affected by the hurricane and the widespread flooding it caused in Houston and throughout southeast Texas.
“We were kind of locked in our house for like three days, just sitting around kind of being helpless and feeling helpless,” said Arian, who sustained flooding to the home he was renting.
“We thought once it dries up we need to do something to show our support to the community and use what little platform we have to help others that want to give but don’t know where to give and try to help organize the rebuilding in the city.”
So on Thursday the gym where Abdul has trained many NFL players was filled with hundreds of bottles of water, boxes of diapers stacked 10-feet high and thousands of cans of food.
A separate room was overflowing with bags upon bags of clothing that the group hoped to get to Port Arthur, Texas, which was flooded in recent days.
The brothers figured they’d get a couple tables’ worth of donations on Thursday, and were thrilled as they saw lines of cars waiting to drop off scores of goods.
“I’m definitely impressed but I’m not surprised,” Arian said. “It’s just a testament to the people in the community that have that good spirit and want to see other people do good.”
On Thursday afternoon Foster helped carry in cases of water that had been donated and Abdul helped volunteers organize the donated clothing into dozens of piles according to size and sex.
The Fosters wanted to make sure the donations went straight to those who needed them most. So instead of donating the goods to a relief agency, they found some trucks and planned to distribute everything themselves.
“We want to take it out to the people directly,” Abdul said. “We’re literally going to go on curbside and drop off to churches that have contacted us and said that they’re going to distribute to the communities directly behind them … we don’t want them to have to wait or go through any processes, checkmarks or nothing. We just want to take it to the people directly.”
Arian played for the Texans from 2009-15 and is the franchise’s career leading rusher.
The work of the Fosters comes as J.J. Watt’s fund for hurricane relief keeps growing. The star defensive end has raised $12.2 million, and got a boost on Thursday with a $200,000 donation from Drake.