There’s a quote by Fred Rogers that floats around social media after every natural disaster.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,’” Rogers said.
When things like Hurricane Harvey hit hard, it’s easy to forget that even with all the death and destruction, there are still good people doing good things. The helpers Rogers looked for are still going into the devastation to rescue others from fires, tornadoes and flood waters.
Take Jim McIngvale for example. Known as Mattress Mack to the Houston area, this furniture-store owner has opened his showrooms to hundreds of people looking for refuge, and he took box trucks out to the streets to help people who might be stranded. On top of that, Mattress Mack took members of the Texas National Guard in and gave to them a place to sleep. They were welcomed into the stores not to sleep on cots or sleeping bags but to get some rest on high-end mattresses.
Then there’s the story of an anonymous man dressed up as Spider-Man who came to visit children in the George R. Brown Convention center where more than 9,000 people are currently staying. The Spider-Man went around handing out stickers and hugs to the children.
When Andrea Smith went into labor on Monday morning, she knew she needed a miracle in order to deliver her baby in a hospital. While some of her neighbors in her apartment complex came over to prepare her for the birth, another neighbor reached out to a friend who lives near a fire station. That friend went over to tell the firemen what was going on, and together they hatched a plan. The firemen sent a dump truck to Andrea’s apartment complex. That solved part of the problem, but there was still the issue of getting Andrea to the truck. The neighbors formed a human chain to get Andrea and her husband to the dump truck. At the hospital, Andrea delivered a happy, healthy baby girl.
Huntsville-native turned Houston-resident, Kari Pledger, noticed a few of her neighbors cleaning out the storm drains with a broom right after the rain started so the streets wouldn’t flood. She even caught this photo of the pajama-clad good Samaritans braving the elements to keep drivers safe.
Anheuser-Busch used its Cartersville, Georgia, factory to can water for Houston residents. The company has 155,000 cans of drinkable water for those in affected areas.
Politicians and celebrities have pledged massive donations as well. President Trump , Sandra Bullock and Leonardo DiCaprio will donate $1 million of their own money. Both Miley Cyrus and the Kardashian family have pledged $500,000 to those who have been affected by the storm.
J.J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans, hosted an online fundraiser that has so far collected more than $11 million for relief efforts.
Nicole Richert, a children’s pastor in Houston, welcomed 11 people, six dogs and one cat into her home.
“It was ‘see a need, meet a need.’ We didn’t even hesitate,” she told People.
While the first responders are out there saving lives, it’s the good Samaritans who are picking up some of the extra work.
David Gindrup and his neighbor, Tara Jackson, have taken in 17 police officers from Waco, Texas, who came up to help. Gindrup’s entire neighborhood has teamed up to donate laundry detergent, blankets, pillows and anything else the officers might need.
More than 300 people have listed their Houston-area homes on Airbnb for evacuees needing a place to stay. The popular home-renting site waived its user fees for those taking in people displaced by Harvey as part of their disaster response program.
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