With winds up to 130 mph and devastating floods, Hurricane Harvey clearly left its mark in South East Texas. Over 40,000 houses were decimated and 100,000 homes were affected – leaving myriads of Texans displaced. All time continental U.S. tropical cyclone rain records were broken as Harvey let 40 – 52 inches of rain into Texas and Louisiana.
However, despite all tragedies, Texas stood adamant. The sight of numerous families out in the waist deep waters rescuing their neighbors; fellow Houstonians providing supplies to the Coast Guard; friends, families, and strangers coming together to volunteer to clear houses is so inspiring beyond the capability of words to describe.
Being in the midst of all the chaos, the Houston Branch wouldn’t stand idle. On September 1st, the Houston Branch donated water, Gatorade, mouth wash, and other hygiene supplies to the National Coast Guard. On September 2nd, multiple AYLUS members rose up early morning for training to gut houses. On September 3rd, we donated around 850 books to the Katy Independent School District to restore and put back books onto the shelves of local schools. From September 4th to September 9th, the Houston Branch has – without fail – to provide free meals with the cooperation of other restaurant chains such as Panda Express to the flooded Grand Lakes community.
Members provided their assistance at various locations such as Word Serve Church, Cross Point Church, Second Baptist Church, The Fellowship Church, West Houston Chinese Church, Katy High School, Cinco Ranch High School, and Morton Ranch High School. After receiving training along with parental assistance and guidance, the Houston Branch took on the grueling task of clearing and gutting flooded houses. In addition to physical labor, the Houston Branch also set up a GoFundMe to provide monetary aid to the victims out of the reach of our immediate help.
As school starts tomorrow in Texas, I hope all students will be able to peacefully attend and begin another fresh start! While the state of Texas continues to recover, we provide our prayers to Florida and the branches in the state. There is no doubt that Florida will withstand Hurricane Irma just as bravely, or even more valiantly, as Texas overcame Hurricane Harvey.
Don’t forget #HoustonStrong!!!
Thanks to Eve Wang, Joy Wang, Flora Hu, Quinn Fan, Jessica Cui, Jessie Sun, Leanne Wu, Kelly Wu, Rachel Yuan, Rachel Bai, Michelle Li , Ruthie Bai, David Li, Andrew Hallack, Nathan Yuan, Aaron Tsui, Eric Li, Arthur Ha, Jerry Wan, Alan Wan, Brian Chen, Lawrence Chung, Jack Sun, Jacky Jiang, Kevin Jiang, Alex Zhong, Ethan Liu, Haoyuan Bai, Nicholas Nguyen and Jonathan Liu