North Texas Tornado Relief: How Our Customers Helped Meet the Needs of Tornado Survivors

UPDATE: May 9, 2016

Small gestures add up to make a big difference

After the December 26, 2015 tornadoes hit North Texas, HPB’s Dallas-Fort Worth customers donated toiletry items, we contributed books to displaced families living in shelters.  In January, donation coin boxes in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Oklahoma City encouraged customer donations to the Red Cross.  Many customers donated by directly texting to the Red Cross while others dropped their donation into the coin boxes.  After the money was tallied, we presented the coin box donations to the North Texas Region of the American Red Cross.  Our customers contributed a few coins or dollar bills here and there, which ultimately became a donation of $6,413.45!  The Red Cross works to help those impacted by the North Texas tornadoes even now, four months later, and these contributions will go towards that work – it is awesome to see your donations making a difference in the lives of the North Texans who are still recovering and rebuilding their lives.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela


Tornado Relief

Representing Half Price Books at the check presentation in March was Dawn, Garland store manager, and Dave, North Dallas district manager.  In the center is Ashley from the Red Cross of North Texas.  The day after the tornadoes, the Garland store was first to reach out to the Garland Police and let them know HPB wanted to help. 

Through the generosity of our dedicated customers and some additional big-hearted citizens who wanted to donate, Half Price Books was able to collect more than 10,000 toiletry items for the survivors of the recent North Texas tornadoes! What too many families in areas just north and south of the city of Dallas experienced was a devastating mass of twelve tornadoes that tore through homes and across neighborhoods, sadly taking lives in the process.


The communities of Garland and Rowlett were hit the hardest, and, subsequently, several Red Cross Shelters were established and companies across North Texas volunteered to collect needed items. The evening after the tornadoes hit, our Garland store management team reached out to the Garland police and let them know we would help, in whatever way we could. On Monday, our Dallas corporate office, in partnership with the American Red Cross of North Texas, announced that DFW area Half Price Books stores would accept donations to the Red Cross. As a tangible way to meet the needs of the tornado survivors, we embarked upon a DFW Toiletry Donation Drive to provide toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap and other immediate needs.

The Red Cross let us know on Tuesday, December 29, they had several shelters with many children that were bored and asked if we had books we could donate – do we have books? YES! The boxes were packed to the top of the truck with more than 500 books, stacked, loaded and delivered to the Red Cross Headquarters by a Half Price Books team by the next day. Before we left the building, a Red Cross representative said those children’s books were already en route to the shelters! Now that was amazingly efficient!


Left to right: Michael (HPB), Ashley (Red Cross), Brady (HPB), Angela (Red Cross)

We continued the Toiletry Donation Drive through that week until Friday, January 1. To say that our customers, employees and the citizens of DFW area were generous is an understatement. Our Flagship store in Dallas collected more than 3,000 of the much-needed items, including some dog food and blankets, too! In addition, our19 other stores in the DFW area collected another 7,000 items! When the call went out, everyone responded with abundance!


Donation delivery site with HPB truck driver, Marvin (in orange vest) and church’s volunteers.

The closing chapter of our donation drive was finding an organization to distribute the donations we collected – in the process, we discovered a cool website called, where the needs of a recovering community are listed and those who want to donate can be matched with each other. After searching for the Garland area, we found an organization that needed our toiletry items. Our corporate distribution staff quickly sorted and boxed up the 10,000 items into categories like toothbrushes and shampoo; the four shrink-wrapped pallets with 25 boxes each were then delivered to The Central Park Church of God in Garland on Friday, January 10 – on the day the director said they literally were running out of toiletries! It is because of our thoughtful and community minded customers, employees and fellow citizens of DFW that these donations got into the hands of those in need, just in time! If you donated, we wanted you to know – you met a huge need in a mighty way!


HPB employees sorted over 10,000 items!


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