As you well know we in the Houston area have been gearing up for
yet another hurricane but now in our area. I will be flying out
thursday for the Train the Trainer Training and will have to leave
my family behind. Since Katrina did such damage we Houstonions are
taking heed to the hard lesson
learned from that dreadful storm and are taking precausions, hopefully
With all the attention on Hurricane Rita I believe that most of
our prople are too busy to send their stories. I have however gotten
e-mails from two ASPs and I have my own. Also as we were doing these
things it never occurred to us to take pictures, we were just responding
to the need, so we
have no pictures. The following is what I have received thus far.
I will try to get more for you. One underlying thought that I keep
hearing is that the more you do, the more you realize needs to be
- Angela Thomas
I worked Medical Unit all day at the Convention Center but we were
not allowed cameras. I have worked with families from two hotels
with information, toys, clothes and referrals. I have donated two
carloads of new and nearly new needed items. We have committed to
adopt a family program. We also gathered 4,000 lbs of food with
the boy scout troop of our little neighborhood, in one day. I will
be further volunteering with medical unit and our church program.
I am also assisting another church in preparing a new shelter.
Judy's additional note: I received an e-mail from Angela this week,
she had lost her voice and doesn't know from what. Being in the
areas she went there is no telling what she was exposed to. This
woman has a heart the size of Texas and we are truly "blessed"
to have her as our IAHSP president!
Lynn Morgan's Story
I did not do direct volunteer work or invite survivors into our
home as my husband Dave asked me to "keep a low profile"
so he would not worry. He has been in Norway, Russia and the UK,
and won't be home until early October. I had to agree there was
no sense in having him "worry" while he trekked
around Siberia. So, I worked through and with my friends in Community
I cleaned out my home and my Staging(R) inventory to provide lots
of sheets, a queen bed in a bag, throw rugs, towels, end tables,
night stands, a dining room table and four parson's chairs, bar
stools, a half-dozen lamps and light bulbs, kitchen utensils (including
a complete set of Cuisinart cookware as well as a few odds and ends),
can openers, cutlery, stirring and mixing stuff, strainers, and
the like. I went through all my stuff and if I had two, I gave away
the extra. Then I started on pot holders, place
mats, napkins and accessories. I spent a couple of days getting
things together, and as I lived my life, thought about what I was
taking for granted or appreciated. Then I dug out my "extras"
and added them to the pile. Half the food in my pantry (especially
things like baking powder, flavorings, etc.), extra shampoo, oral
hygiene products -- stuff like that. When all was said and done,
we tied a load into a good sized pickup and completely filled a
Suburban -- there was scarcely room for the driver. (I was amazed
at how much "stuff" there was!)
Through the combined efforts of several women from CBS, we furnished
five apartments for displaced Katrina survivors from Louisiana (not
New Orleans) who had lost everything.
I also gathered all the little airline hygiene kits that Dave brings
home after circling the globe. I did not count, but ended up with
two huge overflowing shopping bags full of kits with razors, tooth
paste, shampoo, lotion, lip care, etc. You know the stuff. (Now,
originally, I didn't think they'd need the eye covers or ear plugs,
but sleeping in a shelter...?) All of those went to Katrina survivors.
I don't have any "heart-warming" stories first hand, though
I've heard many. However, I can attest to the gratitude of survivors
who said they "couldn't believe" the generosity ("These
tables are gorgeous!" or "I can't take this!" comments
are just a testament to my taste?), or how much they "appreciated
the pretty lamps" and the "bright accessories" that
helped them feel like they were "living again" in their
otherwise sparse accommodations. I was just happy that God gave
me a chance to help in this way.
I will ask to see if there are any pictures. But I didn't think
about PR when doing my small part. Sorry.
Judy Taylor Story
I live in a resort community on Lake Conroe. We have a high rise
hotel located on our property and I understand we had upward of
300 families housed in the early stages of the relief effort. Our
community banded together and gathered food, clothing, toiletries
and toys for the families that were staying here. They were fed
3 meals a day with volunteers helping to serve food. We also had
the task of separating and grouping the clothing that came in and
then dispensed the clothing to those in need. After "our"
families were clothed the rest of the clothing was boxed up and
taken to Houston to the Astrodome for the evacuees there.
I go I run into Louisiana families and there are "acts of kindness"
stories, one particular is a couple I met this week, they have lost
EVERYTHING but the most pressing concern is the fact that her mother
has not yet been found and she has finally contacted the coroner
to see if see if she drowned. What can you do? I met them at the
car wash and then again at Target and I then got the message and
realized that I could pray for them. So in the parking lot I prayed
for this family, there was not a dry eye. Now we give our attention
to Hurricane Rita and my heart does out to these people who
have come here as a refuge only to have to flee again.
Kym, I thank you for your tireless effort you put into this Staging
Our original Staging was going to be for the Rag's to Riche's Resale
Shop which benefits the Battered Women's Shelter. We will satify
that promise to them at a later date and then maybe we can have
some pictures. We just need to get past these hurricanes for now.
Keep us in your prayers.
- Judy Taylor, ASPM