The record-setting rainfall in Houston flooded tens of thousands of houses — including the homes of Michael Thomas' parents and older sister.
“Not too much damage,” Thomas said in Minneapolis late Thursday night. “But water did get in. In my sister's home as well. Just got assess it and see what you can repair and what's non-repairable. We'll see.”
Thomas, a safety for the Dolphins, grew up in Houston and has been affected greatly by the devastation. When the storm hit Texas, members of the organization when to Thomas and other players with ties to that area, including corner Xavien Howard, and asked how they could help.
They suggested a relief effort, using Hard Rock Stadium as a drop-off hub for donations from the public.
The response has been incredible.
As of late Thursday, they had collected 4,222 cubic feet of donations, including seven pallets of water and three pallets of non-perishable food. Singer Alicia Keys stopped by the drive Thursday to donate.
"It's been great," Thomas said. "Shoot, to be honest, it's been better than what we thought."
Thomas added: "Obviously, I can't be there right now. I've got a job to do here. But when you see your loved ones and your friends, and they're going through something, any way you can help, you're going to try to. If I can just ask other people, even if it's not donating money. Donate what you can. Old clothes that you don't wear no more. My daughter grows out of clothes faster than we can buy them. I was able to send those clothes right away, and a lot of people were able to do the same. Sending diapers, hand sanitizer and sheets. It's amazing to see that."
Much of the help has gone to Thomas' high school, which is being used for a shelter for more than 2,200 displaced people.
Thomas and Howard were at the stadium Friday morning, packing up trucks with supplies bound for Texas.
The effort will continue through Sept. 15. For more information, visit Dolphins.com or call 305-943-7900.