In my last post, I talked about how our family weathered through Hurricane Harvey. We were finally able to return to our home to live in 9 days after evacuating. Our house did sustain some damages and we took down 3 of our 6 trees (well, Harvey took one completely down for us), but every one is safe and our community is slowly being restored.
Through this whole ordeal, though, something stuck in my head that I have felt really made this experience better for us all. There once was an interview done with the beloved Mr. Fred Rogers (you can view the YouTube clip here) where he talked about what his mother used to say when catastrophe would strike.
"Always look for the helpers"
Mr. Roger's mother told him to "Always look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." In the days we were away from our home, especially the first few, I'm pretty sure we weren't the only ones glued to the news.
Hoping to catch a glimpse of our communities. To see how bad the damage was going to be waiting for us back home. Praying everyone stayed safe. Yearning for normalcy when we returned.
Yes, there was talk of looters and such. But do you know what there was more of? Helpers. People risking their lives to help. First responders and everyday people. All fighting for each other.
And it was beautiful.
When disaster strikes
These sort of things do seem to help us remember who we are. How we need each other to survive. When returning to our community, there has been so much outside help. Groups making meals, passing out free water and ice. Donations upon donations being sent to affected communities.
Everyday people packing up their personal boats and heading hours away to help rescue strangers from their homes that were quickly filling with water. The Cajun Navy and Texans with their boats sprung into action, ready to help save people.
And we saw the helpers. We saw local churches and grocery stores setting up mobile kitchens, passing out donations. There were people who had lost things of their own out volunteering, helping those that had it worse than themselves.
The helpers do so much
Now that things are starting to settle down some in different areas, you're starting to see some communities that were affected by the storm sending donations they've received to other communities that are not as far along in the recovery process.
The helpers have helped so much that some communities are donating their donations. Not because they don't need them, but because another community needs them more than they do. Because they want to be helpers too.
So thank you
Thank you to all the helpers. Thank you to the first responders and medical personnel.
To the civilians risking their lives. Thank you to the men and women who brought their boats and trucks.
Thank you to the churches, grocery stores, restaurants and other organizations that have helped get donations and volunteers in to feed, clothe, house and help.
To the everyday people donating time, money, food and clothing, we thank you. Thank you to everyone who had even just a small part in helping.
I also pray for those who lost their lives trying to rescue others and those trying to be rescued. Prayers for those that lost their lives helping pick up the pieces in the aftermath.
For those that have lost everything. For those hit hard financially. Prayers for the next group of people that will be hit hard by yet another storm. For those enduring raging wildfires and earthquakes. Prayers for us all.
And, a big thank you and prayers to the helpers and their families. As Fred Rogers' said, "Because if you look for the helpers, you'll know that there's hope".
"How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!" Psalm 133:1