Sunday Inspiration: Harvey’s Heroes

HeroesWitnessing 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.

Remarkable photos.

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.


  1. Nancy Wilson on September 3, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Thank you for focusing on the positives, and there are many positives even in our current situation. Most of us did not lose loved ones, only “things” and we are working together to minimize that loss where the water has receded while we still pray for those who will still have floodwater for awhile longer. Keep us in your prayers as we recover. We are Texas strong.

    • Emilie Richards on September 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      We will, Nancy, and hopefully none of us will forget we need to continue doing what we can long distance to help. Thank you for taking the time to comment when clearly Harvey is/was a personal experience for you.

  2. Kate Vale on September 3, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Well put. I’m in awe of the people who’ve responded to this disaster, those who’ve lost their homes and those who’ve taken it upon themselves to help in myriad ways, without expecting anything in return.

  3. Joan Leopold on September 4, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I donated to Samaritans Purse, RedCross, and of course to a group rescuing dogs and other animals that was highly recommended. My sons restaurant collected donations for days and volunteer drivers are heading there today. A friend saw several loaded
    Rental trucks head there over the weekend. Florida is stepping up. I have a friend who lives in Rockport. She is well, but last I heard she hadn’t returned to see if anything is left of her life. Her life story is full of ups and downs. Why she has to endure yet another one is beyond me. I’m so sad for her. You could write a book.

    • Emilie Richards on September 4, 2017 at 11:15 am

      I’m sorry about your friend, Joan. In a life filled with ups and downs, this will be a chasm. Let us know how she’s doing.

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