Today the GSD Patriot ReAct “Food Service Team” was out in full force at the Holiday Inn Express in Kingwood, TX. This is where FEMA decided to house approximately 150 displaced families after Hurricane Harvey. That was three weeks ago, FEMA allowances are running out and I am told that over 20,000 are still in shelters, church basements and hotels across the city.
The 150 families we served today represent only a fraction of those whose homes were damaged beyond repair, scheduled for destruction. These Houstonians have lost everything, they can’t “go home” because it doesn’t exist anymore. So, we decided to bring a little bit of normalcy to them in their time of need.
Our GSD Patriot ReAct Team Volunteers
I am an old guy, I’ve seen a lot of destruction and pain in my life. I have lived through earthquakes, fires, tornadoes and now hurricanes. I am not often surprised about how people react. Most “victims” of natural disasters turn out to be basically good people, just caught off guard by a cruel circumstance.
What does occasionally surprise me is the people that step up to help. I’m not talking about the first responders and Cajun navy folks, they were awesome. I’m talking about the people who three weeks later are still in the field giving of their time and resources.
What struck me when we were serving breakfast to the group yesterday is the diversity of ReAct Team volunteers. In the beginning our team members were vets and construction workers, mostly men and young boys with a few women for sure but mostly adult male.
Now, three weeks after Harvey, most of the men have gone back to their jobs, many for the first time in months because of the need for workers to help rebuild. Our volunteer teams now are made up of Gold Star parents, older Viet Nam veterans, housewives and home school students. All have performed admirably and are a great testament to God’s Grace.
Why We Continue to Serve in the Community
What does continue to amaze me is how grateful people are for something so basic. I’m talking something cooked to order just for them, hot breakfast just like home. All you can eat good stuff, not fast food breakfast burritos or frozen microwave pizza or soggy sandwiches thrown together during the night and dropped off in the lobby.
Our team gathered together to break bread, listening to each other, laugh together, cry a little and pray a lot. We even had the opportunity to celebrate a couple’s marriage anniversary. Imagine the story they will tell their grandchildren about Harvey.
What this team continues to provide is good food and fellowship served by people who genuinely care. You will find us where ever we are needed, serving with a smile and a servant’s heart.