After Hurricane Harvey destroyed much of Houston and surrounding communities, Chris left his home in Arkansas to lend a helping hand, organizing and leading 14 groups down to Texas to do relief work. Chris believes going beyond is just about having the courage to say “Yeah, I’ll spend some of my time to go do that.” Here is the conversation we had with Chris.
Why did you go to Houston to help restore after Hurricane Harvey?
The amount of devastation was overwhelming. Over Thanksgiving break in 2017, we were asked to help support a group of high school kids who desired to spend their Thanksgiving break helping the inner-city Houston residents.
How did you help in Houston after Hurricane Harvey?
Our team did mostly rebuilding. There were four houses in one block that were all severely damaged by the flood. We were primarily replacing and finishing drywall, installing insulation, and painting, trying to get it back where the people could move back in because they were all gone. We were also able to help serve a community meal and at times, had to become detectives to identify the homeowners as they had fled the destruction. We found one lady and collectively got her some gift cards and food.
What did you experience when you went to Houston?
I think what impressed me the most were the young people helping. We saw young people with no previous “disaster” experience, helping people they had never met. So instead of going to Grandma’s house to eat pumpkin pie, they were in people’s homes that they had never met, spending time learning how to rebuild. We had a little training session before we even left to try to be a little more efficient when we got there. But we saw what you see with every flood. Everything is ruined two to three feet up. All the belongings are gone, all the walls are bare and had to be replaced. Neighbors that were traumatized and didn’t have insurance wondering when they would be able to move home.
How did this make you feel?
Happy that people can find a way to be unselfish and appreciative for the bountiful life we enjoy in America. As always, you know there is a lot of sad stuff that goes on in the world. But there’s a lot of good stuff, too and that doesn’t seem to get in the press. But it’s out there and there are people out there that want to help others. It’s that kind of thing that gives you hope to do whatever you need to do with whatever storm comes in your life.
How did your trip “go beyond?”
Just by looking for opportunities to do good, they are all over the place. It’s just having the courage to say “Yeah, I’ll spend some of my time to go do that.”
How can others “go beyond?”
Look for, listen for, ask for opportunities to help. Use your God-given talent to bring HOPE to someone, somewhere.