Hello friends! I hope you had a great, long Labor Day weekend. It’s been quite an emotional week here as I’m sure you can imagine. We had planned to go on a family Labor Day weekend trip to Wimberley, Texas (including my mom and brothers and their wives and kids), but with all that’s happened here lately, we ended up cancelling. We were disappointed to miss, but we used that time here for good and continued volunteering at a local church (First Baptist) and were grateful to see the fruits of everyone’s hard labor come to fruition.
After days of sorting and organizing all the generous donations, we set up “shoppable” stations so that families could come and take what they need- everything from food, toiletries, linens, toys, baby items, clothing, etc. And for people that can’t get there to shop, volunteers are taking items to be delivered.
Here at home, we’re preparing for school to start back Tuesday (although HISD won’t go back until September 11 or later). Sadly, we found out over the weekend that several families at James’ school lost their homes due to flooding during the hurricane. We are thankful that all of them are okay and the damage was to their homes and property only- no loss of lives or injuries, thank God!
Our school is small, about only two classes per grade and one of the biggest draws of the school for us and many others is the diverse, tight-knit community. It feels like everyone is family. One of the families (the DR Fam below) have a son in second grade that is one of James’ close friends since PK3.
It’s so heartbreaking to see these devastating images on the news and quite another to cry with someone you know and care about on the phone as they tell you how they had to be rescued from their home by boat. If it was scary for the adults, I can’t even imagine how the kids felt. Except the 4 year-old cutie pie daughter of the T Family- she thought it was a big adventure and couldn’t wait to tell Grandma how she rode a boat through their neighborhood! Makes me just want to squeeze her! (That’s her in the pink jacket below).
Our school principal, teachers, PTO and community have already come together to help these families with donations of immediate things they need and have set up a meal train so that they don’t have to worry about groceries or cooking while they try to rebuild their homes and lives. They’ve also started helping with the heavy lifting work of tearing out sheetrock.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
I’ve always known that YOU have have the most loving and giving hearts and it was never more apparent than in the last week. I received so many messages from you checking on us, telling me you were heartbroken and praying for people affected by this horrendous disaster, and letting me know that you have donated to organizations helping with Hurricane Harvey relief. I could cry at the genuine outpouring of support. I just want to hug each and every one of you!
I know lots of you wanted to go a step further or haven’t given yet, not sure where you could best use your resources. I’ve been the same way and want to use my resources for good too. Now we have a chance to help, giving directly to six families at our school that lost their homes due to the hurricane.
I have spoken to each of these families and with their permission, have set up individual You Caring accounts that you can donate to. One family already had an account set up for them by a friend, so I included that one instead of creating a second one. Originally, I was going to start Go Fund Me for each family, but on Stories, you told me that GFM takes a large fee and You Caring doesn’t. I wanted to make sure as much of the donation as possible gets into their hands.
I’m sharing each of their stories with you below and, if you can, please give to one or more of these families. I don’t ask lightly. I know it’s stretching it to ask when you may have already given to another charity. Just keep in mind that any amount helps, even $5 or $10! Your donation will go directly to them as the beneficiary of the account. They will use the money to rebuild their homes and to buy necessities and furniture and to replace the things that were lost in the storm.
They are beyond grateful for any amount of support you can offer. We might not realize it, but it can be hard to ask for and receive help when you are the one used to doing the giving. But I love what the mom in the T Family said through her tears when I talked to her, “We won’t be ashamed of what’s happened. It will take a long time to recover.”
Just click on the family name to read their story and donate directly to them. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! And p.s. I’ve never set up something like this before, so if you notice any glitches, please let me know.
Isn’t this family adorable? And Mom is 14 weeks pregnant with their third.
That’s James’ sweet friend and his parents. And they have two wonderful older sons also.
What a bunch of sweet faces. Their youngest daughter is just a little younger than Jordan!
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Dad is a US Marine veteran and Mom is in the medical field. Their precious 4 year-old daughter loves Belle! Thankfully, their dogs (not pictured) are great swimmers and are safe and sound.
Only this crew could keep each other smiling through the storm. Good for you for being able to give a thumbs up even in the midst of such chaos.
This one brought me to my knees. The picture was snapped right when Dad and daughter (carrying her little baby doll!) were exiting the rescue boat in the pouring rain and the son is on the right wearing the Texans beanie. Mom said she didn’t even realize someone took the picture until someone told her it was on Snapchat.
I hope these stories give you some personal insight into what is happening in our own backyard and that you feel good having an opportunity to give to someone you can put a face to.
Love you so much and cannot begin to thank you enough for giving to our school families!