Horrible Harvey – Not So Horrible After All by Kelly Gee

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Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 14 Sep 17 - 0 Comments

The English meaning of ‘Harvey’ is battle worthy, and the Gaelic derivative means blazing iron. Well, if iron sharpens iron, Harvey sure sharpened the connections and commitment of our community and our state. And I would say we Texans and little POC proved ourselves to be battle worthy and oh so POC
Strong. I saw so many people of all ages and all social groups and all economic groups helping each other and working together. Over and over and over again we had what we need when we needed it. The evacuation spared lives and protected many from injury and risk. The wind blew the worst of the surge past us, and we were spared the devastating flooding predicted.

The return of citizens brought encouragement, assistance and direct aid to those who weathered the storm and began the cleanup process. Almost immediately, good Samaritans and kind-hearted helpers showed up when and where they were most needed. Men, women, boys and girls gave time, muscle and help without asking what was in it for them. They did ask who deserved help. They did not hesitate because it was messy, or hard or overwhelming. I did not see price gouging, tricksters and shysters at work. I saw people, aiding without judgment or prejudice. I am sure there were incidents of dishonesty and greed. Such sins are as old as time and will always be seen in times of great need. But apparently those were the exception, not the rule. It makes you believe in the humanity of humans again.

Harvey made my heart grateful. I was grateful for young urban and country boy warriors such as my son and numerous others who rode trucks and jeeps, boats and air boats through dangerous waters to rescue young and old. And many of them called it rewarding to do their part. I’m grateful for homes and farms and small motels and huge hotels who opened doors and rooms and kitchens and laundries to families, to children, to elderly and even beloved pets who fled from the wrath of Harvey. Many of those hospitable hosts went above and beyond business as they allowed refugees to cook, to wash, to use and overuse resources and supplies and asked fair compensation and little else.

I am so grateful for crazy social media which I normally detest as it kept me in real time connection with my sister in a boat escaping Houston flood waters, my friends in POC displaced across the state and even the country, my hometown observation cameras on buoys and at homes that gave me hope for our existence after the storm, and gave me news beyond rumors and gossip. My precious Magnolia Beach friends Mark and Lisa welcomed us to their farmland to shelter and wait together, and to them I am so grateful.

I was grateful and amazed that the VFD guys answered the call and came to our home immediately when we asked Sunday morning, and could use the freezer bounty to feed those working as first responders in POC. The Coasties answered the gate call that same Sunday morning and agreed to use the fish we would have otherwise wasted. I was so thankful to find them ‘still on the watch.’ I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to know that those same Coast Guard men and women, under the leadership of Senior Chief Martin, who updated by video daily throughout this ordeal, have selflessly driven miles and miles to deliver water and supplies to nearby communities in need and helped in our town and countless others nearby. Big cheers to them for an incredible job well done.

I am appreciative of those who pitched in and did what they could where they could, and I am most grateful that the serving and supplying continues.
After returning and finding homes standing with minimal damage and friends returning with happy hearts the work began. Groups from Sequin, Fort Worth, Belton, Houston, Joshua, Oklahoma City, Katy and countless other places have driven into our community in trucks and vans, food trucks and trailers, family cars and business vehicles bringing every kind of supply you could possible think of including pet food; people food; clothes and underclothes and sleeping clothes and school clothes and shoes and jackets and work clothes and, oh my, such clothes; mops and brooms and rakes and towels and cleaning supplies and bleach and soap and hand sanitizer and senior care supplies and personal hygiene items for young and old and in-between; diapers and wipes and formula and baby food; pain meds and tummy meds and first aid too; cooked meals and casseroles and water, water, water, water; and manpower and
building supplies and chainsaws and tarps; and willing hearts with helping hands, strong backs and cool heads and love to spare, it all rolled into our town.
Senior citizens from a small church in Spring brought a generous load, country families arrived with pet food and encouragement after Sunday morning worship, and little children with parents in tow came with boxes of donations because they wanted to help. Just when we would run low, another group would come and another donation would arrive.

I was blessed, so grateful and humbled by the outpouring of love and generosity I witnessed. And you know, I believe our small community is a microcosm of the state, and I like to hope, the country. Many Americans are returning to simpler roots of faith and family, home and community, brotherhood and friendship.
I wish I knew the many names and addresses and locations so I could thank them. I guess I will pray that they are blessed in return a hundred-fold and I will do my best to pay it forward, keep it going and pass it on. If it is a new old trend, a developing fashionable movement to care about each other, I like it! Let’s make it a craze, a fad, a thing. Let’s make it part of POC Strong!

Oklahomans with no real connection to POC came bearing gifts and assistance for residents in need. Memorial Road Church of Christ from Edmond, Oklahoma rolled into town with supplies and materials for POC Residents. Building materials, chainsaws, diapers, formula, jars of peanut butter and loaves of fresh bread as well as other immediate need items were dontated by the Disaster Relief Ministry. Their caring and generosity made repairs and shelter possible. -Kelly Gee

Oklahomans with no real connection to POC came bearing gifts and assistance for residents in need. Memorial Road Church of Christ from Edmond, Oklahoma rolled into town with supplies and materials for POC Residents. Building materials, chainsaws, diapers, formula, jars of peanut butter and loaves of fresh bread as well as other immediate need items were dontated by the Disaster Relief Ministry. Their caring and generosity made repairs and shelter possible.
-Kelly Gee

POC resident Gary Prince (L to R) was blessed by the group. Joe Crawford, Edmond, Oklahoma, is the senior pastor in charge of the Disaster Relif Ministry. David, Walker, POC Resident, was the local coordinator for their efforts. Russ Lobaugh, a lawyer by trade, came with the Oklahoma group and worked so hard to see supplies delivered where they would most help. Blair Horst, one of the business managers for Memorial Road Church of Christ completed the team with his giving spirit. -Kelly Gee

POC resident Gary Prince (L to R) was blessed by the group. Joe Crawford, Edmond, Oklahoma, is the senior pastor in charge of the Disaster Relif Ministry. David, Walker, POC Resident, was the local coordinator for their efforts. Russ Lobaugh, a lawyer by trade, came with the Oklahoma group and worked so hard to see supplies delivered where they would most help. Blair Horst, one of the business managers for Memorial Road Church of Christ completed the team with his giving spirit. -Kelly Gee

Susie Jaycox, POC resident, received temporary living quarters from the Oklahoma team. This nice tent will keep her high and dry until housing repairs can be completed. -Kelly Gee

Susie Jaycox, POC resident, received temporary living quarters from the Oklahoma team. This nice tent will keep her high and dry until housing repairs can be completed. -Kelly Gee

Complimentary dinners were served at Dock’s Bar and Grill. Supplies were gathered and later delivered around the area.

Complimentary dinners were served at Dock’s Bar and Grill.
Supplies were gathered and later delivered around the area.

Free Lunches served by Kathy Pullen Photos by Susan Braudaway

Free Lunches served by Kathy Pullen
Photos by Susan Braudaway

Bubba’s Smoked Meats gave Free Food and supplies

Bubba’s Smoked Meats gave Free Food and supplies

There was Free Water at the POC Post Office After Hurricane Photos by Susan Braudaway

There was Free Water at the POC Post Office
After Hurricane Photos by Susan Braudaway

POC kids of all ages came together to clean up the fallen tree limbs, bush and debris caused by Hurricane Harvey at the Port O’Connor Cemetery. -Photo by Sarah Washburn

POC kids of all ages came together to clean up the fallen tree limbs, bush and debris caused by Hurricane Harvey at the Port O’Connor Cemetery. -Photo by Sarah Washburn

Coast Guardsmen and Guardswomen have logged countless hours and miles delivering supplies and help to communities in need. -Kelly Gee

Coast Guardsmen and Guardswomen have logged countless hours and miles delivering supplies and help to communities in need.
-Kelly Gee

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