Since last week’s good people post focused primarily on the ‘hidden heroes’ who had quietly gone about the business helping victims of Hurricane Harvey, I intended to write this week about a philanthropist who has given away billions. But more and more stories of ‘hidden heroes’ working tirelessly and selflessly to help those affected by the storms and subsequent floods kept popping up everywhere I looked, and I decided to stick with that theme for this week … these people deserve a bit of recognition and a big THANKS! So let me introduce you to more heroes down in the Lone Star State!
Brothers Brad and Adam Morris of San Antonio, Texas, wanted to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, but they weren’t sure how. It just so happens that their cousin is a Houston police officer and he gave them an idea when he said, “We’ve got boats, but what we need is high water trucks.” Light bulb moment! Brad and Adam perused Craigslist and finally found just the ticket … er, truck. A steal at only $13,000!
Papers signed, check written, and they were off to Houston where, with their new-used truck named ‘The Punisher’, they successfully helped rescue dozens from the flood waters.
Great job guys! I wonder what they will do with the truck after this, though?
Dr. Stephen Kimmel is one dedicated surgeon. Even though flood waters were just beginning to enter his own home, when he received a call from Clear Lake Regional Medical Center informing him that a young patient, Jacob Terrazas (16) was in serious trouble and would require immediate surgery, Dr. Kimmel immediately headed to the hospital. Problem was, due to the flooding, he didn’t get very far in his car. (Too bad he didn’t have the Morris’ truck!)
Fortunately, two volunteer firemen were able to reach him in a canoe, and the trio paddled to within a mile or so of the hospital. Dr. Kimmel walked … or slogged, more aptly, the last mile of the way,
“Sometimes you have to do whatever it takes,” Kimmel said in a press release. “This young man’s life would have been changed for the worse forever if we hadn’t been able to perform surgery when we did. In the end, it all turned out very well.” Hats off to Dr. Kimmel for putting his patient before all else.
Who says corporations don’t have a heart? Well, mostly they don’t, but the manager of a Pizza Hut in Sugarland, Texas, has a very big one!
“When I heard there were families in need, I knew we needed to act fast,” said manager Shayda Habib. “I called my husband and asked him to gather up kayaks and meet me at the restaurant.” With a limited crew, Habib got to work and prepared as many pizzas as possible. They loaded the pizzas into delivery pouches, then stacked them on kayaks and delivered them, free of charge, to as many flood zone homes as they could.
So far, Habib and her employees were able to get 120 pizzas to stranded residents, and they plan to keep making and delivering until they run out of ingredients. “We are so proud of our team for seeing a need, stepping up and helping the community in a time of devastation,” Pizza Hut franchisee James Bodenstedt said.
Not being a sports fan, of course I had never heard of J.J. Watt. Turns out he is a football player for the Houston Texans (never heard of that team, either). Mr. Watt started by making a personal donation of $100,000 to a Hurricane Harvey relief fund, but his good deed did not stop there. Mr. Watt made a video urging people to donate to help the people of Houston rebuild their lives.
This is a case of somebody using their fame, their name-recognition (though not by me 😉 ) to do good deeds for people in need. As of Tuesday afternoon, his video had led to more than $20 million in donations! Thumbs up, Mr. Watt! Now go knock one out of the park!
A group of Mexican bakers who were trapped in their Houston bakery for two days during Hurricane Harvey. So what did they do? Well, they could have tried to make their own beer from the yeast in the bakery. Or they could have played poker for chocolate chips, or had a flour fight. But they did none of the above. They did what they do all day, every day … they baked.
The workers used up 4,400 pounds of flour to bake bread and pan dulce, Mexican sweet bread, throughout the night and day. Finally the owner of the bakery managed to get to them, and all the bread was taken to emergency shelters where it was given away to help feed the displaced people. Wonderful use of time, guys! High fives!
And here’s yet another company with a heart. A Houston furniture chain, Gallery Furniture, opened its doors to the temporarily displaced, offering both of its stores to serve as temporary shelters. They are providing food, beds, and clean restrooms for anyone in need. Even pets are welcome!
The company even sent out its largest moving truck to pick up stranded residents and bring them back to the store.
I have seen Sandra Bullock in a few movies, but other than that I know little about her. In addition to not being a sports fan, I do not have an interest in Hollywood ‘goings-on’, and know little about most actors. But to today’s point, Bullock, who has a home in Texas and who is a longtime supporter of the Red Cross, said it was crucial to look above the heated political rhetoric around the devastating storm and urged fellow Americans to give. “There are no politics in eight feet of water. There are human beings in eight feet of water.” Bullock made a $1 million contribution of her own.
And yet one more company putting people over profit. Anheuser-Busch, brewers of Budweiser, Busch and Michelob, to name a few, paused the production of beer at its Cartersville, Georgia brewery long enough to can a half-million bottles of pure water to send to Texas for those who did not have safe drinking water. That was last week. THIS week, employees volunteered to work on Labour Day to fill another one million cans to help with the relief effort in Texas!
What a great group, eh? Secretary of Labour Alexander Acosta said of the workers, “they’re working for their fellow Americans. They’re helping the people of Texas. So what better way to celebrate Labor Day than helping others.” Agreed — thumbs up to both the company and its employees!
And finally this … not exactly a good people story, but still …
Meet Otis* … he was seen walking through the streets of Sinton, Texas, near Corpus Christi, carrying a full bag of … dog food! I believe that Otis knew his fellow canines would need help and was on his way to provide such help. See … humans are not the only ones that are … well … human!
Many, many kudos to all those who have pitched in to help their fellow humans caught up in the devastation left behind by Hurricane Harvey. Sadly, as I write this piece on Tuesday afternoon, out in the Atlantic, Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a category 5 storm and is expected to hit Puerto Rico today and then make landfall in Florida on Saturday. And still another storm is forming behind Irma. I have a nephew and several friends in Florida, including our blogger-friend Gronda. My nephew tells me that the shelves in the local markets are already bare. My heart and thoughts are with all those in Puerto Rico and Florida … anywhere in the path of Irma, for she is anticipated to be just as fierce as was Harvey, perhaps even more so. And many, many thanks to all the good ‘hidden heroes’ from the last two weeks.
* Note: Otis actually belongs to Salvador Segovia’s grandson. Salvador had left him alone in his screened-in back porch, along with food and water. But the storm must have scared Otis, so he busted open the screen door and ran away, grabbing his bag o’ kibble on the way out. Luckily, a stranger found Otis, thought he was so adorable that she posted his picture on Facebook, and he was quickly reunited with his family. I just couldn’t resist painting him as a ‘good samaritan’ though. And who knows? Perhaps that was his mission!