I’m proud to live in Houston, Texas, and have never been more proud than now, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. For over a week, the world watched images of the devastating Category 4 hurricane and the slow, drenching rains of “Biblical proportions” that engulfed our part of the state, covering large parts of it in up to 52″ of water in a matter of two days. An estimated one in every ten structures in Harris County was flooded. To put the devastation into perspective, this video shows images of major, interstate highways that look like rivers. Parts of the city that normally don’t border waterways could only be traveled by boat.
Local businessman, Jim McIngvale, known by Houstonians as “Mattress Mack,” demonstrates the best of Houstonians’ strength, compassion, and values in action. This isn’t the first time McIngvale has stepped up – unprompted – to help the people of Houston.
#HoustonStrong isn’t just a slogan. Neighbors helping neighbors is the norm, not the exception. For all the bad press Texas gets, often deservedly so, ordinary Texans really do deserve a better reputation. In the midst of the crisis, no one cared about race, religion, or sexual orientation. No one asked about political party affiliation. And our “neighbors” included other parts of Texas, Louisiana, and other states.
Houstonians know how to pay it forward, too. They are stepping up to help recovery in Puerto Rico; the Houston Astros, who count among their players and coaches several natives of the island, are sending 240,000 lbs. of supplies, there, as well.
Volunteers are a special breed of people, and Red Cross volunteers always step up in times of need, their mission, to “provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.” These are their guiding principles:
Outside of Texas or the U.S., look for volunteer opportunities within your own community. The world can’t do without all its helpers.
I leave you with a word straight from the mouth of our beloved Fred Rogers (“Mr. Rogers”):
This post is part of the We Are the World Blogfest. Our #WATWB cohosts for this month are: Michelle Wallace , Shilpa Garg, Andrea Michaels, Peter Nena, Emerald Barnes. Please do visit, read, and share this month’s many #WATWB posts! Thank you.