Sunday, September 03, 2017

Surviving Hurricane Harvey: Part Three - Goodness Abounds



The good far outweighs the bad in response to Hurricane Harvey and the recovery efforts in the aftermath. Texans helping Texans happens spontaneously. There is no such thing as sitting around and waiting for outside help around here. Volunteers from across the country have felt our pain and risen to the occasion. All of this revives hope for the human race.

Houston, know for its diversity, is the nation's fourth largest city and it is home to immigrants from literally any country you can think of. The greatest asset of this city, to me, is the glorious mix of people and cultures who all live together peacefully with a live and let live kind of attitude. You know all those riots in the streets of other large cities around America? That doesn't happen here. I don't know why but I think it has to do with the attitude of the city. We're simply not havin' that stuff. This isn't to say there aren't distinct differences in opinions and that conflict doesn't happen. There are problems here like other places. It is to say, though, the Texas spirit thrives in Houston. Immigrants to the city embrace it. Texans look out for each other - even those among us who are not here legally. As Congress continues to refuse to seriously tackle immigration reform, people are here in limbo, hurricane or not. One of the first announcements made by the mayor and the police chief was about those living here illegally - no one was in jeopardy of facing an ICE agent for simply seeking shelter and aid due to the storm. 

Only in America would a fund be established to help "undocumented" Houstonians during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The local ABC network affiliate's self-described "social media contributor" on Twitter actively promotes it.



One caption for this claims: "575,000+ undocumented immigrant families live in & surrounding suburbs. Many don't qualify for Gov aid." 575,000 undocumented in one American city. That is unheard of in any other spot in the world. Shame on national media in town asking local and state politicians - even Governor Abbott - about any pending DACA decision coming from President Trump. This should be an issue for Congress, not another executive order from the sitting president. Obama did it for political expediency. America's immigration system deserves, indeed demands, honest reform. Here is a good recap of a particularly shameless DACA discussion inserted into stories of Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston.

Remember the photograph of President Trump holding us the Texas flag during his first stop in Texas, during his first trip after Harvey struck? It was in Corpus Christi and a crowd of locals gathered as the president thanked first responders for their work. A teenage boy brought the flag to see the president and the Secret Service asked if he'd allow them to borrow it. He did. Marcos Garza asked for donations of water and baby wipes for his hometown and then said, "I think we should support the president during his run right now, because he kind of needs it." 

There are many ways to help all those affected by Hurricane Harvey. How about some retail therapy? Here is a list of retail outlets who are donating all or a portion of the proceeds of merchandise to recovery efforts. Remember when people unfamiliar with basic economics mocked former President G.W. Bush for telling America to go shopping after the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks? Yeah. Well, patronizing retail outlets stimulates the economy and helps recovery efforts. Simple, right? 

After you do some shopping, you may want to go out for a bite to eat. Here is a list of some local establishments donating portions of receipts to hurricane recovery efforts.

The list of heroes during this horrible time is long and continues to grow. There are no words to measure the hard work and dedicated spirits shown by our first responders and the countless volunteer rescue workers. 

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote a good piece capturing the urgency of Congressional approval of federal dollars to be sent to Texas for recovery efforts. As happenstance would have it, Ms. Noonan was in San Antonio delivering a keynote address to a group of think tank types gathering for a convention. 

Recovery is beginning. As water recedes, people are able to go back to their homes and start the process of tossing out damaged possessions and repairing their homes. Streets are lined with the fruits of peoples labors and family heirlooms alike, not just soggy carpeting and moldy drywall. Streets in my part of town are still flooded due to reservoir releases so police secure the entrance to our development and once out on the street, it is difficult to maneuver around to something as necessary as an open grocery store.

This, too, shall pass. We will get through it. We are grateful.

Onward.



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

3 posts direct from the front line. You have a gift Karen and the fact that you take this time to write is priceless.

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