Helena man collecting essential items for Texas families in need

Ken McLean collecting donations for Texas families
Posted at 5:44 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 10:57:30-05

HELENA — A Helena Man is hoping to be Texas bound in the next couple days with a trailer full of much needed items for those impacted by the devastating winter storm in the Lone Star state.

Ken McLean is partnering with the Helena Safeway to collect emergency and essential supplies from the community for those families in need.

“We need to help our neighbors,” said McLean. “Whether it’s Texas, whether it’s Florida we’re all Americans. They’re still our neighbors.”

Items needed include toiletries, non perishable food, diapers and water. People can drop off those items at the Helena Safeway and once the trailer is full McLean will be Texas bound.

Ken McLean and Safeway Assistant Store Manager Eric Dowell
Ken McLean and Safeway Assistant Store Manager Eric Dowell

“We want to get the trailer filled ASAP. As soon as it’s filled I’ll leave,” said McLean.

Mclean said he was frustrated by what he’d witnessed and figured since he’s retired, helping others in need is a pretty good use of his time.

Congressman Rosendale helped connect McLean with Texas Congressman August Pfluger to make sure the items get to families that need them.

People can also drop off monetary donations at Safeway to help, or make a donation to the Albertsons Company Foundation which is also providing direct relief to families affected by recent winter storms.

“It’s awesome and it’s important too,” said Helena Safeway Store Manager Paul Newman. “We’re all in this together and we want to take care of them.”

Ken McLean and Safeway Assistant Store Manager Eric Dowell
Ken McLean and Safeway Assistant Store Manager Eric Dowell

Helena Safeway Assistant Store Manager Eric Dowell says although they may be the Lone Star state, he wants Texas to know that they’re not alone in facing this crisis.

“Our community is awesome,” said Dowell. “It’s a great feeling with the community we have because we always see them come together and ask how they can help.”

Dowel says if they receive donations after the trailer has departed, they’ll make sure they get down there to families that need them.

McLean added he’s happy to make multiple trips and hopes this event inspires other Montana communities to offer their support; noting it will likely be months at least before Texas has fully recovered.

People can follow updates for McLean’s donation collection and trip to Texas on his social media.