By Anita Oh

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Even from a distance, the City of Brotherly Love is showing Texas what Philadelphia is all about.

After Hurricane Harvey tore through the Lone Star State, leaving parts of Houston underwater, many across the Delaware Valley are stepping up to help with the recovery.

Fifty volunteer nurses from the New Jersey Hospital Association flew down Thursday morning to help staff a Webster, Texas hospital. While the Bay Area Regional Medical Center are providing the airfare, lodging, and meals, the nurses will not be taking a salary during their stay. Some are using vacation days to volunteer, according to a spokeswoman.

Philadelphia chefs are banding together using the hashtag #Chefs4Houston, launched by Eli Kulp of High Street Hospitality Group, and donating proceeds from dishes to relief efforts. Participating eateries include but are not limited to Fork, High Street Market, A. Kitchen and A. Bar, Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Luna Café, Lolita, and William Street Common.

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Garnet Valley High School cheerleaders are collecting donations during the 7 p.m. home game on September 1 against Upper Darby High School.

Meantime, one group of local volunteers plans to fill trucks with donations and drive them directly to Houston, where Harvey displaced tens of thousands–including members of Kenneth McDuffie’s family.

“They had to come down with a rescue boat and rescue the whole family. It was very devastating because you want to help your family, but you couldn’t get there,” said McDuffie, a Philadelphia native. “My cousin went missing [and was found several hours later]. She was stranded on the freeway and her phone went out and she had no way to communicate.”

That’s partly why he joined the #PhillyJourneyToTexas initiative, launched by another Philadelphia native, Miracle Johnson, just days ago.

Word quickly spread across social media, and now 25 businesses across Philadelphia and parts of Delaware are collecting clothing, toiletries, school supplies, and more for Harvey victims.

“I always tell people even a bar of soap, a toothbrush, a washcloth – anything helps,” Johnson said.

Volunteers, including Johnson, plan to personally distribute those items on the ground at the end of the month, alongside Houston friends who are familiar with the hardest hit areas.

“Lean on us, lean on our shoulder, hug, cry,” she said. “I wanted to touch the families down there and let them know – you’re not alone, we love you, the City of Brotherly Love.”

It’s the same feeling that launched the Philadelphia Building Trades, the local AFL-CIO, and the Teamsters Union into action after Hurricane Katrina in 2005; they’re now filling at least one tractor trailer of necessities for Harvey relief.

John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, business manager of the Philadelphia Building Trades, says seeing images of the devastation especially compelled him to help.

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“When I saw seniors in assisted living with water up to their heads, I said, ‘This is crazy. We’re letting people get washed away,’” Dougherty said. “We have to do it. If we don’t take care of each other, no one else will.”

The local unions also plan to have the tractor trailer open for donations during Monday’s Labor Day Parade along Columbus Boulevard and Washington Avenue. Items can also be dropped off at the Apprentice Training Building at 2150 S. 3rd Street.

Items needed include clothing, diapers, toiletries, non-perishable food, shoes, school supplies, bottled water, pet food, pet supplies, undergarments, travel shampoo and conditioner, soap, hand sanitizer, wipes, blankets, and more.

#PhillyJourneyToTexas ( will be collecting donations until September 28 at the below times and locations:


  • The Personal Chef Seafood Restaurant and Takeout
    6833 Germantown Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19119
    Wednesday-Saturday 5 p.m.-8 p.m.


  • Hair Wizard Barber Shop
    6654 Frankford Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19135
    Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5p.m. (toiletries only)


  • The Lashed Barbi
    2301 N. 9th Street (Green Building)
    Philadelphia, PA 19130
    Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.


  • Backstage Barbers
    1430 W. Cheltenham Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19126
    Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (toiletries only)


  • Hair Crave
    4302 Wayne Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19144
    Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


  • ErieTronics
    722 W. Erie Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19140
    Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.- p.m. (toiletries only)


  • Jackies Garden
    1836 N. 20th Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19121
    Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


  • Couture Book Boutique
    7560 Haverford Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19151
    Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.


  • Coach CEO Saunders
    3848 Haverford Avenue Apt. A
    Philadelphia, PA 19104
    Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (must be in a clear bag or bin with a top)


  • Butt’s Barbershop
    1821 N. 54th Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19131
    Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.


  • New Life Consumer Center
    3119 Spring Garden Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104
    Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5p.m. (toiletries only)


  • Urban Exchange Project
    2050 Frankford Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19125
    Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (toiletries only)


  • Magnificent Obsession
    6231 Germantown Avenue
    Philadelphia, PA 19144
    Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.


  • G Spot Tattoos
    2302 W. Newport Pike
    Wilmington, DE 19804
    Tuesday-Saturday 12 p.m.-9 p.m.


  • Pryme Styles & Cuts Unisex Salon
    8 Halycon Drive
    New Castle, DE 19720
    Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.


  • Asgard Nation
    262 Chapman Road
    Suite 202-4
    Newark, DE 19702
    Monday-Sunday 9:30a.m.-3 p.m.