Portland steps up to the plate for Hurricane Harvey help

A number of restaurants are donating a portion of their sales to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

Pastrami Zombie at 4237 N. Mississippi Avenue in Portland, August 31, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Across the country, thousands of people want to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey in any way they can. Portland is stepping up to the plate, literally, to help.

A number of restaurants are donating a portion of their sales to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, some beginning Thursday, others running through the Labor Day weekend.

Matthew Fields is the co-owner of Stella Tacos. They're offering a deal on pulled park tacos and Texas tea to help Harvey relief (KOIN).
Matthew Fields is the co-owner of Stella Tacos. They’re offering a deal on pulled park tacos and Texas tea to help Harvey relief (KOIN).

Thursday, Le Pigeon and Little Bird Bistro will donate 5% of their sales to the United Way of Greater Houston.

Andrew Fortgang, the co-owner of Little Bird Bistro and Le Pigeon, said he thinks it’s important for everyone to do a little bit, at least.

“You know, you might need it one day,” Fortgang said. “We hope the bit that we do will do some good in Texas but also that it encourages others to realize that all of us can do one little piece. … We just want to be part of that.”

Beginning Saturday and running through Monday, Bollywood Theater will donate 10% of all purchases at both their locations to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in the Houston area.

Melissa McMillan, who was born in Houston and still has family there, owns Pastrami Zombie. She said her cart and another are combining forces to donate 100% of the proceeds from their special to the Houston food bank.

“We’re doing a Barbecue Texas burger” — with onions, barbecue sauce and cheddar jalapenos — “and Rick from Lardo (Chefwich) is doing the sides,” she told KOIN 6 News. “It’s 12 bucks, it’s all happening out of the truck and all $12 goes to the Houston food bank.”

Her family in Houston and Austin, including her mom and dad, are safe, but she said her cousins will have to demolish their house.

“My cousin, her 3 kids and their husband, a Good Samaritan picked them up in a boat and brought them to dry land,” she said. “Cars washed away. Their house washed away.”

Pastrami Zombie at 4237 N. Mississippi Avenue in Portland, August 31, 2017 (KOIN)
Pastrami Zombie at 4237 N. Mississippi Avenue in Portland, August 31, 2017 (KOIN)

McMillan said she and Lardo Chefwich are doing another fundraiser with Grand Central Bakery. “It’s really a community effort to be able to donate the most amount of cash we can.”

They hope to raise at least $5000 by the end of the day Monday and promise to send it all to the Houston Food Bank.

Pastrami Zombie customers Sherry Stewart and Pat Good think this is a great idea.

“That’s really wonderful when people take their business and use it to help other people who are having a hard time,” Stewart said.

“I think the American people are probably the most generous in all the world,” Good said. “When they see sadness, disaster and hurt, they just come to the rescue. All of us do. It’s wonderful.”

One of the Stella Taco locations in Portland, August 31, 2017 (KOIN)
One of the Stella Taco locations in Portland, August 31, 2017 (KOIN)

For Stella Taco co-owner Matthew Fields, the urge to help is a personal matter. He was also born and raised in Texas and wanted to find a way to contribute to the Red Cross.

“Everyone that’s suffering, not just in Houston but all of south Texas and now Louisana is getting hit, too,” Fields said. “It’s a very unprecedented thing as far as the amount of water dumped on south Texas and people are struggling to cope with it.”

The parent company of KOIN 6 News, Nexstar, is coordinating a nationwide donation effort among their stations to help the Red Cross help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

At both Stella Taco locations, they’re offere a taco special — barbecue pulled pork on a house-made flour tortilla — and drink special through Sunday.

“It’s a typical thing in the South to gather around food and hash out all those things and, you know, get to a better place in the end,” he said. “So that’s really what our hopes are.”

PDX Eater also reports  White Owl Social Club, Gladstone Street Pizza, Lardo Chefwich, Hat Yai, Paadee, Kim Jong Smokehose, Smokehouse Tavern and Smokehouse Provisions, the Country Cat Dinnerhouse and Bar and Sweet Jam are also donating some or all of their proceeds in a given timeframe.

Also beginning Thursday, customers of any Safeway or Albertsons in Oregon or Southwest Washington can donate to the Hurricane Harvey relief fund inside each store. Officials with the stores said the funds will go directly to several relief organizations, including the American Red Cross, the local Salvation Army and “other respected organizations.”

More than just eating can help, too.

Carrington College is accepting donations on their Portland campus of clothing, diapers and non-perishable food items now through September 8. Donations will be coordinated to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey and can be dropped off at their campus, 2004 Lloyd Center, 3rd floor.