Hurricane Harvey: The aftermath, service, and power of community

Evacuees wade down a flooded section of Interstate 610 as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise Sunday in Houston (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A couple weeks has past since #HurricaneHarvey wrecked havoc over the Bayou City, and survivors are still coming to terms with their new reality. Trying to rebuild lives while witnessing their homes in distraught, cars submerged with water, family displaced, and work being delayed. Sadly enough there are still areas in Houston that are barricaded due to massive amounts of water. Many freeways and streets are decorated with dust and heavy debris adding a very eerie element to the city’s appearance; these issues only worsen Houston’s traffic. Just consider for a moment the magnitude of this storm. Over 6 million people are planted in Houston, there’s was over a thousand of gallons of water being poured throughout the course of a weekend. First responders, residents, and animals alike lost there life in the act of rescuing others, being rescued, or awaiting rescue. A cringy horror of the Emergency Alert signal being displayed over your television screen every 5 minutes. Thoughts of your family and friends safety, and the constant worry of when the storm will pass. Hurricane Harvey was definitely a wake up call for the state of Texas. Demanding a call of action to prevent neighborhoods from being a tainted underwater oasis. It left an lasting impression on Houstonians who often weathered many storms and feltl undefeated by them. The severity of Harvey surely put fear in these residents.

Flood victims gather for food at a shelter in the George R. Brown Convention Center during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, August 28, 2017, in Houston, Texas.

The silver lining in this tragedy was seeing the effort of Houstonians come together to save one another. Coverage of local folks using their fishing boats to rescue neighbors or praying over their families once making it to dry land definitely reassured me that the restore of community would be unmatched. If you’ve ever heard of how much pride Houstonians have in their city, or how much love we have for our culture, please note that it is no myth. The lines at George R. Brown Convention Center, NRG, and other shelters shed light to this statement.  Even residents who had even been affected by the storm somehow made their way to the shelters to serve families displaced by the flood. That is #hoUStrong, and that is pride! Showing the world that a hero can come in an array of shades and backgrounds, and that political differences shouldn’t hinder a rescue. Watching the news during the week of the storm was like something out of a Michael Bay film. The footage of neighborhoods, freeways, and buildings flooded was so appalling. Watching families walk through waist deep water to get on boats, or newborns being passed down from dump trucks to a parent’s arms as they transported them to shelters was heartbreaking. Or even listening to reporters interview residents post rescue.  I as sure as many others stayed up night after night watching the footage causing grand empathy.

Texas National Guard soldiers aid residents in heavily flooded areas from the storms of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Sunday (REUTERS/Lt. Zachary West, 100th MPAD-Texas Military Department)

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Houston legends and local non-profits played a major part in both rescues and storm aftermath. Your favorite Houston artist could be easily spotted sorting items at a shelter, greeting families, rescuing families, serving meals, delivering packages, dropping off deliverables. These heavy hitters include: Trae the Truth, Paul Wall, Dj Mr. Rogers, The Hive Society, Mattress Mack, Barker Ripley, Beyonce, UGK, and many more. Also, many outside grassroot projects have donated to the city and efforts.

 

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The Hive Society is one the stand out non-profits that has made generous effort of service from partnering with donation coordinators outside of the state. These grassroot act have had the greatest impact fom on the organization. Supports from both the east and west coast have showed an abundance of love. The organization has not only received packages from there Amazon Wishlist, but also the requested items from their specialty list below. The Hive Society is a 501 c (3) organization that encourages philanthropy through the arts, music and culture. They strive to promote community service for key areas in Houston. Hurricane Harvey was not only just another mission for the group, but an exceptional one to the cities revivement and relief. Please follow The Hive Society for my update on how you can help volunteer or donate to the survivors.

 

 

The most valid question is, “How can I help?” Glad you asked! Houstonians, if time is not on your side monetary donations are the best way to provide service. However, please consider who you are giving your money to. Make sure the organization is notable and worthy. We need survivors to actually receive these funds, not pay off executives who are tone deaf to their mission or where proceeds are allocated. But fund created by locals, for locals. See local opportunities below.

Volunteer

George R. Brown Convention Center (main headquarters for survivors).

NRG

The Hive Society (Follow Instagram for volunteer updates).

Houston Food Bank

Gallery Furniture

Volunteer Houston

Salvation Army

Jewish Family Service

Lakewood Church

 

Donations:

Major Sylvester Turner & County Judge Emmett Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

JJ WATT Houston Flood Relief Fund

Trae The Truth WE ARE ONE! HurricaneHarvey Relief

The Hive Society’s Amazon Wishlist (Now accepting donations/shipment to Warehouse Live Houston).

John Gray Hurricane Harvey Relief

Bread of Life

https://handinhand2017.com/

Axelrad Harvey Relief Fund (supported by #AWeekofLove, benefit concerts continuing now to September 13, where 100% of profits will be donated and each dollar will be matched of all funds raised through Relief Campaign).

Hurricane Harvey Trill Funds

Texas Diaper Bank

Houston Humane Society

Salvation Army

YMCA Houston

Harvey Relief Fund Tees (A C.E. King Middle School Teacher, Raeauna Bowen created these tees. 100% of the profits from these tees will be going towards the purchase of school supplies and other necessities for students at CE King Middle School in Sheldon Independent School District in Houston, TX. This school was greatly affected by the storm).

 

Other Ways to Help:

Hand in Hand: a Benefit for Hurricane Relief

-Purchase storage units for families in need.

-Support local businesses (City Hall Farmer’s Market).

-Sponsor clothing and essential needs for friends/family you know were affected by storm.

-Offer to do neighbors laundry.

-Help neighbors rebuild their homes.

For clear routes, check Houston TranStar

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About the Author
Amanda Randale: I am a Houston native, culture writer, and free thinker. My writings allow me to speak voice to the realities millennials face everyday.
Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn
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