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Front Page September 12, 2017  RSS feed

The Face of Harvey in Leon County

By Sherry Matney


The Face of Harvey. Meet Jarell Lewis, a three year old who found a toy, whom someone donated, and he loved. Sherry’s Shots The Face of Harvey. Meet Jarell Lewis, a three year old who found a toy, whom someone donated, and he loved. Sherry’s Shots At the time of this writing more than two weeks have passed since Hurricane Harvey made landfall at Rockport, Texas. More than 300,000 people were left without electricity and billions of dollars of property damage was sustained. More than 70 mamas, daddies, babies, grandmas and grandpas lost their lives. By August 29, 2017 approximately 13,000 people have been rescued and some 30,000 have been displaced.

Where do you go when there is no place to go and no money to get there? Where do you get blankets and water and toilet paper and toothpaste? We have heard and read stories of people staying in the hotels in Buffalo. Those were folks who had vehicles and credit cards and money enough to get them this far. But what happens if one does not own a car? If they ride to work in a bus? If there is no more job to go to?

As explained in last week’s Buffalo Press, the Lone Star Community Center has been privileged to open its doors to several who need help. Originally the plan was to accept evacuees, on a temporary basis, but that changed so those recently displaced, because of Hurricane Harvey, have been invited to the Center and provided clothes, bedding, food and other necessities. Every person has a story and without exception each person who has accepted assistance has been humble and appreciative.

One family, Nacoriah Thomas and James Beavers, has three children and another on the way. They lived in Dayton, Texas when Harvey made his entrance. Initially, water surrounded their apartment and they were without electricity for several days and were down to very little food and could not get to a store. Eventually their apartment was flooded so this family became one of those who have moved to Buffalo to start anew. Nacoriah got word that she had a job as of Friday and James is going for an interview next week.

Nacoriah has a brother, Bert Whittington and sister-in-law, Dameisha Robinson who have five boys, ages 4 months to 6 years. They have also relocated to Buffalo and look forward to making a life here.

These two large families came to the Center and were encouraged to gather whatever they needed. Donations continue to come in and the women were able to fill their cars with necessary items. A total of eight children can consume a lot of food. Chase and Sherry Lee had brought a freezer full of packaged meats, some cooked some not, and the mothers took what they needed.

Dozens of people have donated food and basic necessities; these folks were able to use many of the items. Other families, with similar stories have been helped. And, without exception, they expressed thanks to the Center for being there and to the donors for their generosity.

The face of Harvey has been cruel and harsh, bringing death and destruction to many fellow Texans. Through small acts of kindness perhaps the unpleasant memories will be softened and the workers at Lone Star Community Center can know that they made a difference to these people at a very difficult time.


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