Statement by Mayor Benjamin and Columbia City Council Members Regarding Efforts to Assist Southeast Texas

Looking at the pictures and videos coming out of Southeast Texas this week, we know what these families and communities feel because we’ve been through it. We want the people of Southeast Texas to know that they aren’t alone. Just like the thousands who stood with us two years ago, we will help those in need.

Our local emergency response and law enforcement personnel are working closely with the SC Emergency Management Division to provide aid. We are ready.

We remain in constant communication with city officials in Houston including Mayor Sylvester Turner and Councilwoman Amanda Edwards, as well as relief agencies on the ground. We have offered our support, and we have begun preparations for a relief drive to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Full details will be forthcoming but we are working with Gamecock Athletics, Southeastern Freight Lines, Columbia Relief (formerly UofSC Relief), and community groups around the city. We hope to issue a full announcement regarding collection sites and times in the next day.

Hurricane Harvey is still bearing down, so we do not yet know the full extent of the damage, when roads will be safe to use, or what materials will need to be collected for donation. As soon as we know, we will announce full details.

Any businesses, religious institutions, or community groups interested in joining the collaboration can email Cory Alpert at

We've been here before and we know that our actions can make a real difference. Let's all remain in constant prayer and commit to doing what we can. #ColumbiaStrong #SCStrong

Additional ways to support our friends in Texas: