God bless the doers. The people who take action to help someone in need. Their actions may seem small or insignificant at first, but in the long run, they are truly meaningful. Lucky for us we live in Lake Travis — a community full of doers who genuinely love their fellow Texans.
The outpouring of help for Harvey victims can be found throughout the Texas Hill Country. It seems like we’ve all been affected in one way or another. Everyone has a story to share.
As of writing this article, our community has family members and friends who are still stranded in flooded homes, hoping and praying that the water recedes. Beloved beach homes in Port Aransas and Rockport are smashed to pieces. Loved ones are missing and their families are frantically trying to find them. And the sad stories continue to emerge.
But instead of being paralyzed by hopelessness, Texans are coming together to ease the pain and provide relief for families (and animals) in need. Today we’ve got a roundup of local residents and businesses who are making a difference.
If you’ve ever lost your home, you know it’s more tragic than words can say. Homes are memories, blessings, comfort zones, anchors, retreats, safe havens and new beginnings. The only experience I have with losing a home is when my husband’s parents lost theirs unexpectedly in a wild fire in Oklahoma in 2009. The home was engulfed in flames, but his parents continued to run back into it in hopes of saving their most cherished personal belongings.
Were they risking their lives to save expensive jewelry or antiques? No, they wanted to save trophies my husband had won as a kid, his high school All-State letter jacket, and family photos — the “things” they loved. Sadly, they couldn’t and everything was destroyed. But they were lucky. They escaped unscathed. All of these years later, the loss of those irreplaceable things still haunts them.
A catastrophic event like Harvey will always haunt us. The people devastated by Harvey have lost more and are suffering more than we can ever imagine.
Our hearts and prayers are with everyone impacted by Harvey. You’ve lost homes, businesses and worst of all lives. We aren’t existing in your nightmare and we aren’t trying to pretend we get it. We can’t make it go away, but we can try to make it better. We’re here for you, Houston. #TexasStrong
Local Harvey Relief Efforts
If you want to contribute to Harvey relief, there are plenty of opportunities to make a difference. So many good people are lending a hand:
Lake Travis Fire and Rescue – As of Tuesday, Battalion Chief Knaus said Lake Travis Fire Rescue deployed one fire engine with four firefighters/medics and a Search & Rescue (SAR) vehicle (with a water rescue boat attached) with four special operations firefighter medics. Both resources were currently in different areas in and around Houston. The initial deployment of these two teams (8 firefighters) was for at least 7 days.
As of yesterday, LTFR reported Engine 602 was reassigned to Dickinson to assist in search and recovery. SAR601 and the RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat), Boat601, were also redeployed to Orange, TX to assist with boat operations for search and rescue.
Family Business Beer Company – This new brewery that’s currently under construction in Dripping Springs launched a Harvey relief page with Random Acts (charity) and has raised nearly $250,000 with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the victims of Harvey.
H-E-B – Our neighbor H-E-B has brought tears to our eyes as we watched the videos of the convoy headed to Harvey victims. H‑E‑B has mobilized its Emergency Response Team and dispatched its Disaster Response Units (DRUs) and H-E-B Mobile Kitchens. You can find updates on Facebook about stores that have reopened in the affected areas. In the Houston area alone, they’ve got 75 H-E-B stores up-and-running today. Only twelve stores in Houston are still closed.
Robert Leonard – Lakeway resident Robert Leonard rallied local support for a #FillTheTruck relief effort (started by Westlake resident Cord Shiflet) to deliver truckloads of food and supplies to the Houston area. Robert filled his military rig at The Lakeway Church on Tuesday evening with plenty of help from friends and neighbors. He told me one of the little girls who was helping used her birthday money to buy the donated items she brought.
Robert said they filled the big truck, his Expedition, and a big van with supplies. Last night, they drove those vehicles into Houston themselves where they unloaded supplies at a distribution center and repacked it into ‘family boxes’ to give directly to families in need. All of those supplies are now in the hands of Houstonians in the Cypress area. Check out Robert’s Facebook page for photos and updates.
Holly Mills-Gardner – Lakeway resident Holly Mills-Gardner was looking forward to being in Houston this weekend to host the Miss Texas USA Pageant live on Sunday, but Harvey changed everything. Holly, a former Miss Texas who is currently a TV host on numerous TV networks, including The Longhorn Network, attended Friendswood High School and grew up spending her summers in Rockport with her grandparents, a tradition she has shared with her own boys.
Sadly, both areas have been devastated by Harvey. On Tuesday, the Friendswood community got the heartbreaking news about the death of Clear Creek High School track and football coach Ruben Jordan. Holly is supporting JJ Watt’s relief effort that has raised nearly $9.5 million for Harvey victims. Ellen DeGeneres, Walmart and the owner of the Tennessee Titans have donated $1 million each.
Wendi Aarons — Bee Cave resident and humorist, Wendi Aarons, wanted to lend a hand to four-legged friends in need. Her family went to Austin Animal Center with towels, food and pet supplies and they took dogs at the shelter out for walks. Austin area animal shelters like AAC and Austin Human Society are in desperate need of help. Austin Pets Alive! has been on the ground in Houston transporting hundreds of animals to their shelter and they’re expecting hundreds more. They need supplies and volunteers ASAP.
Beansprout Pediatrics – Dr. Grant, Dr. Temple and their staff are offering a free acute care clinic for hurricane Harvey evacuees displaced by the storm at their Dripping Springs location. Call for details.
Images courtesy of H-E-B, Wendi Aarons, Holly Mills-Gardner, LTFR & Robert Leonard
The City of Austin (Mayor Adler’s office) has compiled an extensive donate list. If you would like to share info about a Harvey relief effort in the Lake Travis area, please let us know in the comments section on Facebook. We’ll list more tomorrow in our Weekend Roundup, so stay tuned.