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After opening the doors of Lakewood Church, Joel Osteen’s megachurch saw an outpouring of support and volunteers — such an incredible outpouring that they diverted donations to other shelters.

Buzzfeed News, which is reporting from the grounds, says the church attracted “mountains of clothes, shoes, pillows, blankets, towels, school supplies, toys, books, canned food, bottled water, diapers, and pet food” after they opened the 16,000-seat megachurch to donations, most of which came from locals.

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By early afternoon, they report that volunteers were stocking trucks with donations for other shelters, including the convention center.

Albert Samaha, a Buzzfeed News reporter who was on the grounds, reported that a line of cars to get into Lakewood was over a half-mile long. Samaha estimated that “more than half” were in line to make a donation.

Members of Lakewood’s congregation responded to volunteer and serve those in need. Buzzfeed spoke to DeRodrick and Marquis Johnkies, who said they were eager to help.

“We’d been sitting at home watching and we wanted to take some action. Why? ‘Cause this is Houston. This is our city,” Marquis said.

Patrick is a content editor for Rare.
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