Witnessing the devastation and suffering in Texas has been difficult.
The tragic consequences of Hurricane Harvey have reminded me of the terrible destruction of Hurricane Katrina where so many of our friends lived — and where we lived before the storm.
I have cried tears for all the many victims of this historic flood, but I’ve also been inspired by the multitude of heroes who always step forward in such times of crisis. Without thinking of themselves the first responders who consistently rush into danger instead of away from it, the medical and hospital staff who gave aid and care in the direst of circumstances, and the individuals who courageously risked their safety to reach out to neighbors who needed their help, give me hope and respect for the human race.
Did you see the photo of a dozen men and women in waist deep water forming a human chain reaching to a car where an elderly man was trapped (remember the human chain I wrote about last month that saved a family trapped in a rip tide?)
How about the photo of a woman wading through water with a large dog draped across her shoulders, and the one of a man carrying a woman to a boat as she held tightly to her baby?
And did you see the photos of all the people who showed up with their personal boats, paddling house to house to rescue people?
When we’re at our very best.
So many inspiring photos and stories of people helping people make me proud of who we really are. A Houston ABC affiliate tweeted, “Harvey has taken a lot, but it will NEVER take our humanity. We have seen so many neighbors helping each other. THANK YOU!”
And now it’s our turn.
I have been impressed by the generosity of so many Americans who have sent donations to trusted charities that are offering aid. If you haven’t yet — or you want to give more — check Help for Harvey at Charity Navigator to see some of the best places to give.
At such a difficult time it’s easy to point fingers at politicians or celebrities who aren’t doing enough or seem unconcerned. But now is not the time to focus on irrelevant details and to argue among ourselves. Let’s help where we can and celebrate the good works all around us. Most of all let’s remember that the Harvey clean-up won’t end when the hurricane is no longer news. People’s lives have changed and will continue to. Let’s make sure we don’t forget.