Katy-Area Residents Help Each Other after Hurricane Harvey

| October 1, 2017

The Katy ISD Educational Foundation is raising funds to help staff, students and their families recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

The Katy ISD Educational Foundation is raising funds to help staff, students and their families recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

Community Efforts Continue For Those In Need

Days of rain from Hurricane Harvey and resulting floodwaters that forced 200,000 area residents to evacuate might have dampened our spirits, but the situation also brought out the best in many. Countless first responders, Harris and Fort Bend County emergency management personnel, team members from local city governments and other entities worked to protect us and deserve our thanks. Here are a few of the “good news” stories that came our way.

Local Meteorologist Keeps Neighbors Informed.

One of his neighbors said that Pattern Energy meteorologist Chad Ringley “saved our community. He gave us updates on tornadoes, including to take shelter ‘right now’ when the warnings were given.” Ringley got the word out through Facebook and YouTube about the specific situation in Katy. He also waded in waist-deep water to rescue a family. “He is such a blessing,” the neighbor said.

Katy ISD Staff And Students Lend A Hand.

Countless Katy ISD coaches, teachers, other staff, students and parents mobilized themselves to muck out and clean as many houses as possible. The effort began with sports teams and other Katy accounts on Twitter sending out the word about which neighborhood to meet at and when. This effort started Tuesday when people were more able to get out of their houses.

Christ Clinic Provided Free Health Care To Katy Community.

On Aug. 30, as the flood waters receded from Kingsland Boulevard, Christ Clinic reopened. Over the next seven days, the clinic provided free medical services to more than 700 patients ranging from patient visits to prescription refills. The clinic also provided 186 free tetanus shots to community members, volunteers and first responders. Christ Clinic partnered to provide primary health care with Heart to Heart International Disaster Relief and Project Hope.

Seven Lakes High School Best Buddies Cook And Deliver Food.

Representatives from Seven Lakes High School Best Buddies cooked and delivered meals to families displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Chapter President Anna Celeste stated, “ Our community has always been so welcoming and supportive of our organization, so we felt in our hearts that this was an important opportunity for us to give back.” Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Friends And Volunteers Make 25,000 Meals.

The idea for having a team of people cook for those in need after Hurricane Harvey germinated with Katy residents Michael Head and Dara Broussard. Joining them were Dara’s husband Joey and numerous friends including Gerald and Jenny Schneider, Kristel and T.J. Meadows, and Jeff Hancock.

On Wednesday after the storm, they
began grilling deer and other meats from the Schneiders’ freezer at the Elks parking lot (they would eventually change locations). Jenny used Facebook to call for donations. More supplies and volunteers arrived; then the whole venture snowballed.

Gerald estimates that they ultimately made 25,000 hot meals over five days, which were delivered to hungry first responders, residents and others working to recover homes and businesses in Katy and surrounding counties.

“We feel good about what we did, but we all felt is was our duty – our neighbors needed help so we helped them,” he said.

Neighbors Help Neighbors.

Betty Flores and her husband, who own a painting and remodeling business, were in New Jersey when the storm hit so did not have a chance to prepare. They lost everything except the clothes they had taken with them and their truck parked at the airport. The Flores’ dog was rescued by neighbor, Barbara Janovsky, who has lived in the area for 17 years. She also evacuated two cats. On Monday evening she went back to get her important documents and other belongings, which she floated out on a Coleman camping mattress that hasn’t been used in 20 years.

Strangers Help Strangers.

Cassandra and Mohammad Yazdanpanah were evacuated on Monday evening by boat by out-of-state first responders. They were taken to a place where they were able to walk in the water to get out of the neighborhood and then boated a second time to the levee. They walked over to a gas station, where 200-plus others were gathered. Nobody knew what to do or where to go. Mohammad asked a man getting gas if he would take them to Fulshear. The man was hesitant, and he and his wife actually drove away but came back in a few minutes and took the couple and their 16-year-old son to his and his wife’s home where the Yazdanpanahs spent the night. The couple from the gas station fed them and gave them full access to everything they had. Cassandra and Mohammad returned home each day to clean. They’ve been living with a family from Puerto Rico that they hadn’t seen in 20 years.

Harvey Relief Festival Held.

KCAM Contemporary Art Museum Fort Bend and Art in the Park hosted a Harvey Relief Festival of Hope along with Willow Fork Drainage District and other community partners. School and art supplies, nonperishable food and other items were collected for those affected by the flood.

Katy ISD Education Foundation Fundraiser Benefits Staff, Students And Families.

The Katy ISD Education Foundation is halfway to its fundraising goal benefitting Katy ISD staff, students and their families who suffered from flood waters in their homes as a result of Hurricane Harvey. The Foundation will collect donations through mid-October, while Katy ISD campuses will identify students and staff in need of support. This fundraiser is a one-time, special project separate from the Education Foundation’s teacher grant program, and 100 percent of all funds raised will go directly to thousands of Katy ISD students, staff, and their families. To make a donation, visit katyisdeducationfoundation.org.

 

Members of Seven Lakes High School Best Buddies cooked and delivered meals to families displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Members of Seven Lakes High School Best Buddies cooked and delivered meals to families displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

 

Teams of volunteers from Katy ISD helped their friends and neighbors clean up after the flooding.

Teams of volunteers from Katy ISD helped their friends and neighbors clean up after the flooding.

 

Christ Clinic provided free tetanus shots to residents, volunteers and first responders.

Christ Clinic provided free tetanus shots to residents, volunteers and first responders.


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Category: People & Places in KATY

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