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  • 25 Feb 2021 10:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today we walked around the outside of the building to check on all the plants outside to see what survived. It will shock you to know that several of the plants had brand new little leaves popping out already! We were amazed by the persistence in the little plants to survive! We should all be so determined to grow where we are planted.

    Yesterday was so busy, with the Community Blood Drive and the Lee County Emergency FEMA Water and Food Distribution. The Blood Mobile is a great way to give back to the community and it actually gives you a report to let you know how you are doing. They recently added the covid antibodies screening to the results panel for your information. That's useful information in this day and age. 


    Then the Lee County Emergency Management office was set up at the Giddings Food Pantry to distribute the meals and water provided by FEMA. 


    We were very fortunate to have lots of volunteers there to help get the 20,000 meals, and 400 cases of water distributed. There were at least 20 people working constantly from 3-5:30pm. The cars were lined up down N. Harris Street for as far as you could see. Texas weather was also very cooperative yesterday which made it nice. 

    The boil water notices have been lifted, thank goodness. Most everyone has electricity now. Several plumbers are working long hours to get people back their water. It may be a while before everything gets back to "normal". 

    Finally, we are excited to finally be able to host our St. Patrick's Casino Night. We postponed it last year and have decided to host it on Saturday, March 6th. Check out our information page about the event. Contact us for more information. Tickets are on sale on our website.  

    Enjoy the wonderful weather and let us know if you need information about SBA or from the Governor's Office. We are getting information updates daily about PPP, Disaster, or Economic Relief from Covid 19 or the Texas Winter Storm.
  • 22 Feb 2021 3:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Hope this email finds you well and better off than last week. Congressman McCaul and his office has been working around the clock and all fronts fighting for Texans and Texas 10.

    We have gotten a high volume of calls on the Individual Assistance Program and hopefully this email will serve to shed some light on the subject. Congressman McCaul has already sent a letter urging POTUS to approve federal assistance for all 254 counties in Texas (see attached letter).

    Additionally, his office has been working with FEMA daily and we just received some clarification. Please share accordingly.

    As always, don’t hesitate to reach to me if I can be of any assistance.

    V/r Drew



    On February 19th, President Biden approved a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Texas authorizing FEMA to provide Individual Assistance to 77 counties.

    Eligible Expenses

    FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA) program provides financial assistance and to eligible individuals and households who have uninsured and underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs for their primary residence. 

    The program is not a substitute for insurance and cannot pay for all losses caused by a disaster. You can, however, apply for assistance after having filed an insurance claim if you have unmet needs that FEMA may find to be eligible.

    Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for:

    • Emergency home repairs for disaster-related damage to the primary residence.
    • Uninsured and underinsured personal property losses.
    • Lodging expenses reimbursement, for individuals whose home was inaccessible or unhabitable during the disaster, if not covered by insurance or any other program.
    • Medical expenses incurred from the disaster.
    • Other serious disaster-related expenses.

    It is important to note that FEMA does not provide assistance for energy price spikes or to address utility bills. FEMA also cannot reimburse for food lost due to a power failure. Voluntary organizations in your communities may be able to assist. Residents are encouraged to call 211 for assistance.

    Applying for Individual Assistance

    FEMA recommends that survivors contact their insurance company to file a claim before applying for FEMA assistance. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. FEMA does not cover insurance deductibles.

    The quickest and easiest way to apply for Individual Assistance is by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov or by downloading the FEMA App.

     If it is not possible to register online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).

    What you need to apply:

    • Proof of occupancy or ownership;
    • Proof of identification;
    • Insurance determination letter; and
    • Description of damage, including photos if possible


    Survivors who registered with FEMA IA and were ineligible or have received no decision, will receive notification explaining the eligibility and the reason for that decision. Some common reasons for a no decision or ineligible determination include:

    • The survivor is insured and needs to provide an insurance settlement or denial to be considered for assistance.
    • Additional information is needed from the survivor.
    • The home is safe to occupy, and/or property had minimum or no damage.
    • There were multiple registrations using the same address.


    Many of these issues can be resolved by uploading necessary or missing information to disasterassistance.gov or by contacting the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585).

    What’s Next?

    Once you have registered for assistance, you can check on the status of your application, or add new information to your application such as change of email, home address, phone number, insurance settlement, additional damage that have been discovered, by visiting the disaster assistance website or calling the toll free number listed above.

    PLEASE ADVISE: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is now accepting applicants. Homeowners, renters, and businesses in the 77 designated IA counties are eligible for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

    The SBA can be contacted at 1-800-659-2955 or by visiting www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

    Avoiding Scams

    Scam attempts can be made over the phone, by mail or email, or in person. It is important to remain alert, ask questions and always ask for identification when someone claims to represent FEMA or another government agency. The most common types of post-disaster fraud include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, pleas for disaster donations, and offers of municipal or federal aid in exchange for a fee.

    Please share with your constituents that they should report suspected fraud to local law enforcement agencies. They can also contact the Texas Office of the Attorney General by calling 800-621-0508 or call the free FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 available 24-hours a day.

    Undesignated Counties

    No county has been denied for Individual Assistance as of now. FEMA considers a combination of factors when evaluating major disaster declarations and the determinations on the initial 77 counties was made using the best available data at the time. Each of the 177 counties that were not included under the initial declaration remain under active review.

    The State of Texas has a website (www.tdem.texas.gov/warm) for residents to self-report damages to their homes from the storm. Texans living in an undesignated county can utilize this survey to assist the State in quantifying damages in their community. 

    Local elected officials should continue to coordinate with their city/county emergency management department to facilitate requests to TDEM.  Road conditions improved yesterday and will continue to improve over the next few days allowing for equipment to move across the state more quickly. 

    Texans living in an undesignated county should also document all damage related to the winter storm and keep receipts for all expenses related to repairs.





    Andrew L. Ross (Drew)

    District Director 

    Office of United States Representative Michael McCaul (TX-10)

    Ranking Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee

    3301 Northland Drive | Suite 212| Austin, Texas 78731

    phone: 512.473.2357 | fax: 512.473.0514 | cell: 202.957.1941

  • 22 Feb 2021 12:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Governor Abbott, TDEM Urge Texans To Submit
    Self Reporting Damage Survey

    AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) are encouraging Texans to complete the Self Reporting Damage Survey to help the state identify damages across Texas and help emergency management officials gain an understanding of damages that occurred during the recent winter weather. This data is also needed to provide information to FEMA and highlight the need for federal disaster assistance for individuals. 

    The voluntary survey, available in both English and Spanish, can be accessed by visiting: www.TDEM.texas.gov/warm. Reporting damage to the Texas Division of Emergency Management is a voluntary activity, is not a substitute for reporting damage to an insurance agency, and does not guarantee disaster relief assistance.

    "I urge Texans to fill out the Self Reporting Damage Survey and provide crucial information on the winter weather impacts to their home or property," said Governor Abbott. "The information gleaned from this survey will help our state identify the full impact of this winter weather and help emergency management better serve Texans."
  • 01 Feb 2021 5:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Today marks 15 years with the Giddings Area Chamber of Commerce. This is quite a milestone for me. It is also the best job/career I have done in my life. During the last 15 years I have achieved numerous educational certificates and designations that have helped me to excel in my industry. I have met individuals from across the nation and the world because of my particular job. I am extremely blessed to be able to work with all the best people in our community and businesses. I feel so fortunate to be able to wake up every morning and do what I do. 

    Over the past 15 years we have moved twice, created numerous events and activities, and seen many changes. We have supported our city, county, state, and national government on many levels. I have served as a board member on numerous boards and as an advisor on several boards.  It has been my pleasure to help promote Giddings in Austin on Lee County Day with many of our community leaders. 

    I will continue to advocate, promote, refer, and represent Giddings and Lee County. Thank you for all the great days as your Chamber Director.

    Denice Harlan

  • 25 Jan 2021 2:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It looks like Tampa Bay and Kansas City are going to be in the Super Bowl on February 7th. The two quarterbacks are from two different generations and both Super Bowl winners. It should be a great show.  

    This week we do have exciting news for our members. Our new member J. E. Bashaw and Company is hosting their Ribbon Cutting and Open House on Tuesday, January 26th, from 5-7pm. Jeb and Laurel Bashaw divide their time between Giddings and Houston. We are excited to see them open their new office located at 1174 E. Austin, in the building next to Whistle Stop Antiques. 

    In other exciting news this week we are getting ready for the 2nd Annual Sip & Shop Cupid Market at The Silos on 77. Lori and Lisa are co-sponsoring this event and we are thrilled to have them as partners for this event.  We are looking forward to having the vendors here and will be getting our Valentine gifts early this year. The event is open to the public and there is no cost to attend. The venue will be taking temperatures and encourages everyone to wear their mask. 

    cupid poster.jpg

    Finally, we are ready to get back to work and help you get busy in 2021!

    We are  excited for our workshop on Feb 2ndPlease use this link to the Eventbrite page for this workshop: https://giddings-chamber-5ways.eventbrite.com

  • 18 Dec 2020 12:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Happy Friday! We hope you have had a great week and that most of your Christmas shopping is done by now. You still have time to go to our many wonderful local businesses and pick up something for your favorites! There are so many choices and really cool stuff for every hard-to-buy-for family member! 

    I got so excited last night while I was at Gourmet Divas for the Sip & Shop late night shopping event. I was wandering around looking at all the cool kitchen gadgets to see what all they have and I discovered a life-changing tool for my kitchen! Y'all know I make hot sauce every year for the holidays... The food processors that you buy over the counter are too small to make one gallon of hot sauce in, much less three gallons. WELL... I found an immersion blender. OMG! I am excited to go home tonight and start making some HOT SAUCE. I'm a little excited to say the least. It takes so little to make me happy!

    In other news, the Christmas Lights Extravaganza was a huge success and we want to start thinking about how we can make it better and bigger for next year. The City of Giddings has once again hung the Christmas Angels on the light poles through town, but they are going on 20 years old, have been restrung once already and need a rest. The Courthouse Nativity Scene that lights up is getting so old the lights won't work anymore. We really need to start talking about how we can light this town up for Christmas next year. Call me or Judge Fischer if you want to be included in the discussion. Our Christmas Spirit is really shining!

    Denice Harlan, PCED, IOM

    Executive Director

  • 10 Dec 2020 4:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are struggling to spend more of our day outside because of the wonderful weather. I threatened to move my desk outside to work. It is just so relaxing to sit in the sun on the front porch and soak up all the wonderful sunshine. I can say that East Hempstead is a very busy street, and I see everyone go by on their way to somewhere. Life is great in Giddings!

    We are excited to remind you of the extended hours for shopping locally tonight at local shops. They are all eager to help you with all your Christmas shopping. From 6-8PM Ashley's Attic, Gourmet Divas, and The Grapevine will help you shop, select, wrap, and possibly ship your gifts. The ladies have been working hard to get everything ready for you.

  • 09 Oct 2020 12:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This weekend is chock full of activities for you and your family to enjoy. MAKE PLANS TO GO TO THE CPRA RODEO FINALS! Friday and Saturday nights will feature the CPRA Finals at the Lee County Sheriff's Posse Arena. Tickets are available at the gate only.

    Sunday morning there is a drive thru fundraiser at The Silos for Bethany Lara. Tickets are $10 per plate.

    Sunday evening on the Courthouse lawn we will enjoy music from the Lost Cause Band and TUB. We are celebrating our Patriotic Festival with flags and fans! Come be a part of our wonderful community event.

    Tuesday the Lee County Texas Veterans Association is having a DRIVE THRU Chicken Spaghetti Fundraiser at the American Legion Hall. The tickets have been sold in advance. If you still want a ticket, you must call me immediately! I may have a few, I know a guy who may have a few. WE are down to the wire! 

    THEN, we roll into next week when we will reveal our Community Award winners! Exciting times.

    There was a little confusion about the Lee County Cleanup Day - October 17th from 9am-noon. It's easy to make a mistake, and we make some. The County Precinct yards will accept certain household items. 

    Lee County Commissioners

    Free Clean Up Day

    Saturday, October 17, 2020

    9:00am - 12:00pm

    Drop off at Precinct Barns

    Drop off locations-

    Precinct Barn #1  979-542-6065

    1007 PR 1411, Giddings

    Precinct Barn #2  979-542-2522

    1530 US Hwy 77, Giddings

    Precinct Barn #3  979-542-6897

    Belton & 4th Street, Lexington

    Precinct Barn #4  979-542-1388

    1056 Walnut Street, Lincoln

    Acceptable Items - Carpeting, mattresses, appliances, old furniture, other household discards.
    Items NOT accepted - no tires, no batteries, no wire, no tin, no yard waste, no hazardous materials, no building materials.

    Clean up days are the second weekend in April & October

    The other things that are coming up can be seen at our website, facebook, or instagram pages. 


    Denim & Diamonds Gala, Chamber Banquet, Election Day, National Retriever Championships, Honor Park Dedication, and Sip & Shop! Call if you need the information sooner. It is just so much stuff.
  • 15 Sep 2020 10:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    We have seen lots of folks posting on their social media outlets about the huge migration of the hummingbirds this year. The little tiny birds are amazing to watch and so ferocious! Territorial and vicious about who comes to their feeder. The entertainment value is greatly increased by the beautiful colors they display. They are one of the many migratory species that we in Texas get to enjoy! I really like the Monarch Butterfly migration too!

    If you are a high school football fan you have been waiting for Friday Night Lights for a while now. We are cheering for our Lee County teams and pray they stay safe. Go Buffs, Go Eagles, Go Longhorns!

    On Friday the Giddings Fire Department unveiled their addition to the 911 World Trade Center display at the Giddings Fire Station. The beautiful granite markers were donated by Jacob Janda and tell the story of the gift to our city. After the 911 Tribute at the Giddings Fire Station, there was an evening event at the Firemen's Airline Park that included a Cornhole Tournament, live and silent auctions, and music. The crowd was entertained during the auction as the competition heated up over some really awesome auction items. After the auctions were completed Kenny Orts took the stage and opened the evening with the National Anthem which he sang acapella! It was beautiful. It was a wonderful night, and if you happened to be out in the country you may have seen two beams of light that represented the Twin Towers. The Patriot Day event was awesome.

    As we look forward to the cooler weather and getting to do more activities, we want to make you aware of some events that are coming up in October. The Black Bridge Festival and National Night Out have been canceled this year, but there are other events that you will want to attend. 

    October 10th - CPRA Rodeo at the Sheriff's Posse Arena

    October 11th - Grimes Street Music Fest on the Courthouse Square

    October 13th - American Legion Chicken Spaghetti at the American Legion Hall - drive thru only

    October 17th - Southwest Rodeo Hall of Fame - Leon Coffee at the Silos on 77

    October 24th - New Horizons Lions Club Denim & Diamonds Gala at the Silos on 77

    October 27th - Chamber of Commerce Community Awards Banquet - Mask-arade Ball at the Venue on Main

    October 31st - Halloween activities - TBD

    Shop Local, Support Local. We are committed to helping our community thrive!

    Denice Harlan, PCED, IOM

    Executive Director

  • 21 Aug 2020 1:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I am so excited!!! During my morning reading I discovered a weather resource that is so cool! It is August and anything that can cool is huge... https://spaghettimodels.com/  Everything you ever needed to know about weather is on this page. I have to say that with the way 2020 has been so far, I will not be surprised by anything,,, but, I am so impressed with the amount of information on Mike's page. Go check it out and tell us what you think.

    I am also happy to report that my second grandbaby arrived safe and sound this week. Dylan Mae Horne weighed in at 8 pounds and 6 ounces, 20.5 inches long, with dark curly hair. Gus and Sarah are home already and Madison is very curious about the new addition. We are very excited to see the family grow. Thank you to everyone for their thoughts and prayers. 

    Reminders about upcoming events -

    • US Census - complete the census on your phone, online, or by mail.
    • 100th Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote was ratified on August 26, 1920 - register to vote
    • Patriot Day - September 11th the Giddings Volunteer Fire Department will host their annual auction at the Giddings Firemen's Park starting at 6pm. The Giddings Breakfast Lions will have food available for sale, and the Fire Department will have cold beer. Kenny Orts will provide music after the auction.

      “Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.” – Napoleon Bonaparte  

      Denice Harlan, PCED, IOM

      Executive Director

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Giddings Chamber of Commerce
183 E. Hempstead
Giddings, TX 78942
Located in the Lee County Museum, off the Courthouse Square

Contact:  (979) 542-3455
Chamber email:  chambergiddings@gmail.com
Tourism email:  giddingschamber@gmail.com

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