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.

Members from the church form an assembly line to unload supplies

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.

The church group that helped us unload

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.

Read how Heritage members across Texas were affected by Hurricane Harvey >>

Comments (1)

Catherine Koehl - September 17, 2017

I live in Sugar Land, Texas, suburb of Houston in Fort Bend County. With the hurricane coming, accompanied by tornadoes and local Brazos River rising we housed family and friends through the events. Four families, 13 people, not all related, ages 4 – 60 and four dogs for several days. We watched as we gained unwanted water front property status. Everyone was concerned about their homes yet the mood in the house was alert, calm and prayerful. Many communications from local families and friends as well as excellent local news media coverage kept all informed of the dangers around us. Daylight each day for several days showed us rising waters as more evacuations happened in places one would never have thought. Communities came together as all helped each other with food, shelter and safety. The aftermath is showing the true American spirit of compassion as regular people from all over donate not only money for relief efforts but more importantly their time and talents to aide others. This is Texas. A tough and proud people from every walk of life joining for the common good of a strong community. All faiths, colors, creeds, etc. Differences are not recognized, and believe me, we live in the most culturally diverse area of America. Much work continues as faith and civic groups are volunteering to muck out houses, shelter people and pets and feed and clothe those left with little. Schools have been opening, many in alternate locations. This is going to be a long haul recovery but you can bet on Texas coming back STRONG! Thank you to all who have and still are pouring out your time, talents and love for this place and people. It is not the strength and resolve of the government we are relying on ~ it is each other~ and will always be.

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