Finding the Strength to Rise Again
It’s in the midst of tragedy, when our hearts are grieving and the loss feels so deep, that we find in ourselves and others the strength to rise again.
“Just like everybody else, I was glued to the TV watching the utter devastation that took place in the days surrounding Hurricane Harvey,” said Marielle Quaid, a real estate agent with Austin Portfolio Real Estate. “I didn’t know what to expect when we drove down to Houston Thursday. With all of the news and what I was hearing, I was expecting some form of chaotic apocalyptic images: empty streets, closed stores and flooding everywhere.”
Hurricane Harvey was a category 4 storm when it made landfall on the southeast coast of Texas and began its slow trek across the coast and toward Louisiana, leaving millions homeless and without the basic necessities.
“I saw familiar places that were completely submerged in water,” said Quaid about her trip. “I spoke with friends at the medical center that were in the midst of evacuating hospitals that were sitting in 6 feet of water.”
Classified as one of the most devastating natural disasters that has touched the United States since Hurricane Charley in 2004, much of south Texas suffered major loss.
At a time when lives were forever altered and it seemed all hope was lost, communities and businesses came together to help the individuals and families who lost so much.
KW Cares, a public charity founded to support Keller Williams families during sudden emergencies, partnered with the Salvation Army to assist those affected by Harvey. Not only did Keller Williams provide monetary donations, they loaded up three semi-trucks full of donations, supplies and the tools necessary to clear out homes and start the rebuilding process. Once the trucks were loaded, teams headed out to the disaster areas to work side-by-side with residents and other volunteers.
“What we saw when we drove down was by all means tragic, but not the chaos I was expecting,” Quaid said. “The resounding sentiment that I felt when we arrived was resilience and grace.”
Neighbors were helping neighbors. Individuals were working for days straight clearing out the homes of people they had never met. Residents who had lost everything were going door to door bringing food to the volunteers. According to Quaid, it was powerful and completely overwhelming.
“People were connected,” she said. “They were smiling in the face of a difficult reality. I truly felt like I was a part of something that represented the best in humanity.”
According to Quaid, though the recovery and rebuilding efforts continue, residents and evacuees of the affected areas can take refuge in the notion that they don’t have to do this alone.
“Everyone has gone through a really hard time and it’s comforting to know that people out there care,” she said. “You are not alone.”
The smallest things make the biggest difference so if you or someone you know is interested in helping, you can volunteer or make a monetary donation by registering at kwrelief.org.
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