Previously, I wrote about my son, Travis, and his wife, Alayna, heading home to Houston for the first time to see what damage Hurricane Harvey had done to their home in Houston.
They were one of the fortunate ones! Thankfully, their home, cars and pup, Caesar, were all undamaged. I am one grateful mother. I was worried for a week about what they would find once they got home.
The devastation that was wrought by Hurricane Harvey is unimaginable. The news stories are filled with the damage Harvey had on the area. The news stories are filled with the spirit that is alive in Houston as well. I speak of Houston because that is where my son calls home. The damage is more widespread than Houston. It is all along the gulf from Rockport, Texas to Louisiana.
It is expected that recovery will cost about 190 billion dollars. Those in the flooded areas have seen great losses. Entire neighborhoods, schools, libraries, banks, stores, and businesses are dealing with the damage left behind.
One of the things my son said is that there is an army of volunteers ready and willing to help those impacted. The "Cajun Navy" arrived to help those trapped in their homes. FEMA, Red Cross, Salvation Army and others are there to help. HEB, a local grocery store, was one of the first to bring semi loads of food and water to the area. Houston Texans football star, JJ Watts, through his foundation has collected over $17 million that will help in the recovery efforts. Jim McIngvale, aka Mattress Mack, opened his Gallery Furniture stores to those in need of shelter. The reports of those helping is everywhere, these are just a few that make the headlines.
My son, and his wife, arrived home on Friday night. Saturday morning, they were headed to Lowe's to pick up supplies for a friend. They were heading to her house to help. Sunday morning found them volunteering in another area. Nothing makes me prouder than to know he is helping those less fortunate. Travis and Alayna know how fortunate they were and want to help.
My daughter, Kirsten, and her husband, Chase, who live in Chicago, have donated to Austin Pets Alive, an animal shelter that is helping with pet evacuations from Houston and finding shelters to take them in. Our whole family knows our story could be entirely different.
My hope is that the spirit of giving continues for months to come as the Houston area is going to need help rebuilding for many months, if not years. I know I will be giving. I have a lot to be thankful for that my family was spared the worst that Mother Nature has to offer. I won't forget those who weren't spared. I hope you won't either.