Photo Cred: @spaceope
Today Alex and I spent the day with Recovery Houston, helping people gut their homes and begin the process of re-building. These are the homes that held their whole lives, homes where little to nothing could be salvaged. Still they had a smile on their face and were just so happy for us to be there to help.
I having been thinking about how to write this post, what I wanted to say to the people who aren’t from Houston, how they can understand what we are going through as a city together. I hope this post can help you understand and inspire you on ways you are able to help!
It was about a week ago today that Hurricane Harvey came through and wrecked havoc on Houston. Let me start out by saying I have been a Houstonian all my life and hearing the words “hurricane” never really instilled a lot of fear in me. But little did I know this would be a different story and forever change the way I view this word.
On Friday August 25th I was flying back from Hong Kong to Dallas, we already had plans to spend the weekend with family there. Fast-forward to Saturday night where I was getting texts from my family all through the night of the damage that was occurring to their neighborhoods (although thank the lord they were all safe with no damage to their house). I was so eager to get back to our home, we had been checking in with our neighbors and know that our home had not sustained any damage we were so lucky. We woke up Sunday morning and I was just overwhelmed with tears because we were still not able to make the drive from Houston to Dallas, the highways were still too flooded (the weather channel actually had to create a new color to their map so they could track Harvey’s rainfall) and there was no way to get back to our house. It’s a very bad feeling to see what’s going on and not being able to do anything about, or not knowing when you will be able to go home. With that being said we were not the victims from Hurricane Harvey in no way shape or form did I have to experience anything close to what many people had to go through.
I spent all day Sunday watching the news, seeing people being rescued from their houses by helicopters or airboats. Stories about people waiting for help, can you imagine being stuck in your house with water rising with your children or family not knowing when or if you will get out? Watching my fellow Houstonians wade through the water to safety carrying everything they can in their hands, their pets, children, and maybe some belongings it a really heart wrenching un-explainable feeling. But I also saw many stories of heroes who decided to take matters in their own hands, saving hundreds of thousands of lives.
Finally Monday morning we made our trek home despite a lot of worry from our family and friends. We made it home finally with many detours to avoid the water, seeing the devastation first hand.
I went out of town this weekend and a lot of people who aren’t from Houston asked me the question “were you effected?” I noticed this question was significantly different than what we Houstonians ask each other – “Is your house okay?”. The second question is really easy for me to answer, my house is perfectly fine. But the first question I had a harder time answering, because seeing my city go through something like this really did affect me, every day I think about it and it just breaks my heart. But also I have been so blown away with all the generosity and LOVE Houston has felt from everyone all over the world and how we have came together as a city started to rebuild. WE are stronger than Hurricane Harvey. The city of Houston right now, the way people are coming together despite all of other differences, this should be what the rest of the world should be like.
Many of you especially those not from Houston have been asking me how your can help. I wanted to share some charities you can donate to that are near and dear to me and also some retails who are donating 100% percentage of proceeds to Hurricane Harvey relief.
JJ Watts Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund– Will do SO much good!
For anyone who wants to mail in donations:
Animal shelters in huge need of supplies (you can do this super easily, especially if you live out of town by shopping their amazon wish list)/monetary donations/fosters:
Where you can shop with a purpose, for all of the items listed below 100% of the proceeds will go to help victims of Hurricane Harvey!