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Roswell is finding ways to help those affected by Harvey; Local family works to aid flood victims

Rather than recovering in bed from back surgery, Jim Marling spends his time connecting a pole to an American flag to accent a trailer Monday, beginning his week-long mission to fill the trailer with non-perishable goods to deliver to the flood victims of south Texas. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)

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As of Tuesday evening, the death toll from hurricane Harvey had reached 30, the New York Times reported.

The National Weather Service in Houston tweeted the same day that the record for total rainfall from a tropical system was broken. Mary’s Creek at Winding Road in south Houston received 49.20 inches of rain — the greatest amount ever recorded in the contiguous United States from a single storm.
As victims continue to be rescued from high floodwaters and receive aid, a local Roswell man and his family are taking matters into their own hands to help the many victims affected in Texas.
“I’ve got people down there in Bastrop, Texas, that are just — they’re in a bind,” said Jim Marling. “They’re going to need stuff. From dog food, to rope, to slickers for working in the rain — definitely food — clothing, bedding, just anything you could possibly think of.”
Marling said even though he’s still recovering from a back surgery operation from Friday, he couldn’t stay put after hearing about the extremity of the flooding that had occurred.
“(I was) lying here in bed and watching all of the devastation thinking, ‘Man, what can I do to help these folks?’” He said. I woke up (Monday) morning and I said, ‘You know, I’m just gonna go find me a couple sponsors, and then I’m going to see what we can do. Farmers Market was the first one. Roswell Livestock hooked me up with the trailer.”
Gary McWhorter, store manager at the Farmer’s Country Market at the 2800 block of North Main Street, said he chose to help after seeing Marling’s post on Facebook where he turned to the community for help.
“Basically, we’re just trying to help the people of south Texas cope with what they’re having to go through,” McWhorter said. “Hopefully, we’ll get that trailer full by the end of this weekend.”
McWhorter said the grocery store will be accepting donations to help Texas flood victims.
“We’re going to give it directly to the people that need it down in south Texas, and that’s it,” he said. The people of Roswell are caring and giving, and we hope they fill that trailer up.”

Marling said getting the trailer filled with non-perishable items to the victims is his primary mission.
“As soon as this gets loaded, I’d like to send it down there, but theoretically, you’re not going to be able to get anywhere near where I want to go ’til maybe Sunday or Monday even,” Marling said. “But, when that time opens, this bad boy will be ready to go up in there, and I’m going to make sure it goes to the people that it needs to go to.”
“My mission is the Bastrop, Texas, Red Cross. It’s a small little community out of Austin, and that Colorado River goes right through there. It’s like 59 feet above flood level right now.”
Marling said delivering these goods is the best way for him and his family to help.
“My wife and I, and my daughter, we’ll take it down there to Texas as soon they let us through, drop it off and, heck, if they need another one, we’ll take another one,” he said. “I got six weeks to do nothing anyway.”
Marling will be in front of the Farmer’s Country Market for the rest of the week accepting non-perishable items. While the trailer is outfitted with the American and New Mexico flag, he remains on the lookout for a Texas flag to show his support.
“(It) kind of puts a warm feeling in my heart and satisfies that need to be able to help somebody,” Marling said. “Lying in bed and seeing these people suffer — it just kills me.
“Right now, every life matters, and you better be colorblind, ’cause that fella over there might be saving your tail. Maybe this will bring a little unity to the situation.”
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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