On August 25 we experienced one of the worst hurricanes in Texas history as Hurricane Harvey hit the coast. In the aftermath of Harvey the entire country witnessed the vitality of America’s civil society and the strength of the ties that bind us together as a people: complete strangers came together to help out their fellow citizens–many going so far as to risk their lives in order to save someone they hadn’t even met.
These examples of people helping each other truly show America at its best.
One of our Heritage colleagues, Steven Lawrence, traveled down to the affected regions of South Texas after the storm and below is the story of what he saw.
Last Wednesday, a week and a half after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, my father and I traveled down to a little town called Orange, Texas to deliver donated supplies to a local community.
Orange is a community just 30 miles north of the Texas coast that received massive destruction and flooding from the hurricane.
As we got closer to Orange we began to see evidence of the flooding.
We passed houses that had all of their furniture and belongings out on the front lawn, fences that had been covered in water, and roads that were still closed.
Once we arrived at the church we pulled our trailer across a muddy field to unload the supplies at the church’s gymnasium.
Almost 20 members of the church came out and helped us unload the trailer–assembly line style.
They were using the church as their base of operations as they start the rebuilding process in their town.
It was inspiring to see how strong their spirits were during this crisis and heartbreaking to hear how devastated their community was from the flooding.
In many cases water was still standing in their homes keeping them from being able to start cleaning them out.
As I moved case after case of bottled water, alongside of people I had just met, I was encouraged by their positive outlook on the situation and the sense of community.
These are the kind of people that truly make America great.
It’s such an encouragement to see complete strangers coming together and helping each other out during times of crisis–and doing it with a smile on their faces expecting nothing in return.
Countless communities like Orange were affected all across Texas and getting back to “normal life” will be a slow process for many people.
Until then, say a prayer for my fellow Texans who were affected by the hurricane and for the thousands of volunteers who are working to rebuild the homes and lives of those people.