damage · flooding · Hurricane Harvey · not fair

Help Is Here

I returned home just days following Hurricane Harvey’s rampage through this part of Texas, getting a first hand view of the devastation to some 100+ families, not including the dozens of businesses that were impacted in our small town. The saddest part of this tragedy is most of those affected could not afford these life changing events.

They lost everything…except each other. They have no clothes, no shoes, no food, no furniture,  no school supplies, no homes, no direction…and no money.

Rebuild? How? With What?

Move? Where?

Pull yourself up with your boot straps? Who has boots?

I sat with a restaurant owner yesterday as she handed out grocery store gift cards, clothing store gift cards, and cash to her staff members who have no place to live, and no means to ‘start over’. It was important that the restaurant open because these folks needed to get a paycheck, and that wouldn’t be possible if the business stayed closed.

While there, people walked through the door, handing the owner more gift cards, more money, and lots of assurances that more will come.With every donation she made up packets of equal value for each one of her ‘family members’, as she calls those who have been on the payroll for many years.

“Immediately after the storm,” she recalls, “I put out a message on social media that we needed help to care for these folks who were suddenly homeless.”

It quickly became apparent that a family of 4 or 5 or 6 may need mattresses, or a refrigerator, but they had no place to put those items. They were camped out with friends. What they need is money to buy clothes, to pay for a motel room, to buy toothbrushes, soap, combs, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels: those basic needs– things we often overlook.

These are proud people, who work every day, who keep their children in school, who live on minimum wage. They have labored hard to have a home…and now they are homeless. It doesn’t seem to be fair, but Mother Nature doesn’t consider who deserves chaos, and turmoil. Fairness isn’t part of the equation when destruction hits.

It becomes our responsibility…society’s responsibility…to help them. Neighbors helping neighbors, regardless of race, social status, religion, color of skin, or political leanings. And in our community, we are seeing that happen.

RV’s are opened to a family. A garage apartment is cleared out and now houses a family of 4.

“It’s small, but they are dry and safe,” said the apartment owner.

Grocery stores are giving away free bottles of water since the town is under a ‘boil water’ order.

Volunteers are helping with clean up of homes of people they don’t know.

The ground swell of support and giving is remarkable, and it reminds me of the old song with the following lyrics:

‘I love those dear hearts and gentle people who live in my hometown,

because these dear hearts and gentle people will never, ever let you down.’

La Grange residents acknowledge many of our neighbors may be homeless following the storm, but they do not need to feel helpless.

Help is here…because these dear hearts and gentle people will never, ever let you down.

 

This is my response to the writing reader’s prompt ‘not fair’. http://www.thewritingreader.com/blog/2017/09/04/prompt-4001-not-fair/#.Wa1JQk3cR2c.wordpress

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36 thoughts on “Help Is Here

  1. I always feel that any disaster, natural or man-made, brings out the best and the worst in people. It can shock us with examples of cruelty, and yet showcase exemplary heroes whose simple deeds reassure us that humanity still exists. Let the latter shine through and triumph over all negatives!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have Sheryl Crow’s line ‘No-one said it would be easy – but no-one said it would be this hard’ ringing in my ear as I read your words. Life isn’t fair, Mother Nature doesn’t mark out a careful route that avoids the people who have the least but for those people, those hard-working, not-asking souls, this is a bitter blow. But in the midst of the devastation what shines out is that Harvey may have blown whole lives apart but he also blew in Love. Love is simply pouring out of communities like yours. The ‘Churchill Spirit’ that the British are so keen on remembering from WW2 when people and communities just pulled together and forgot that they didn’t like that person or he came from the wrong side of the tracks or didn’t have a father he could name. Suddenly people are just people and in the face of devastation people show their best. This post made me well-up with sadness for those affected and joy for the way your community is rallying. With love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Margo, I don’t think anyone else will be able to write a more heartfelt response to the prompt than you did today. One of the really wonderful things about the storm is that I have heard more stories of goodness than hatred and our country to sorely needs that.

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  4. I think this is the best thing I¹ve read about the storm victims.

    From: that little voice Reply-To: that little voice Date: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 3:16 AM To: Paula James Subject: [New post] Help Is Here

    WordPress.com that little voice posted: “I returned home just days following Hurricane Harvey’s rampage through this part of Texas, getting a first hand view of the devastation to some 100+ families, not including the dozens of businesses that were impacted in our small town. The saddest part of”

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  5. This is America, not the rubbish we see in the papers and on TV, not the over rich politicians who have no idea what it is to be hungry, or have nowhere to rest, not the overpaid sports, media, and entertainment “stars”. These are the stars.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Reblogged this on Peter's pondering and commented:
    This is America. Not the rubbish we see in the papers and on TV, not the over rich politicians who have no idea what it is to be hungry, or have nowhere to rest, not the overpaid sports, media, and entertainment “stars”. These are the stars!

    Like

  7. This outpouring of caring and willing to help those in need is amazing. Why does it take a disaster to wake up people? I’m from Florida and lived through many hurricanes but Harvey is the worst I’ve seen.

    Thank you for this post making people aware of the impact this storm has on lives, and this impact isn’t going away anytime soon.

    Stay safe and pray for Florida because they’re next with Irma quickly approaching. their shores. Plus there are more storms brewing behind Irma.

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  8. Heartfelt words and actions, good luck to everyone, the devastation is horrifying from both hurricanes plus Mexico’s earthquake… my heart goes out to all. A post worth reading x

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