Houston is more than 1,200 miles from Grand Haven, yet when disaster struck in the form of Hurricane Harvey late last month, residents of the Tri-Cities were quick to help out.
International Aid — which always has supplies on hand in anticipation of the next emergency situation — immediately sent thousands of hygiene kits to those in need. The Spring Lake Township-based relief agency then put out a call for volunteers to help pack more hygiene kits, and the results were unprecedented.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said IA Communication Director Loyd Jenkins after he had to turn droves of volunteers away. There were already more than enough helpers on hand.
Those volunteers packed 9,000 hygiene kits in just two hours — an unheard of number, according to Jenkins.
International Aid isn’t the only local group rallying around the devastation caused by flooding in Houston.
Adam Shumaker, a local veteran who runs an organization helping veterans dealing with PTSD through fly fishing, knows someone who lives in the Houston area, and he wanted to help on the front lines. He put out a plea for supplies, and planned to drive them down to Houston personally, pulling a utility trailer behind his Jeep.
The problem is, he received way too many donations to fit them in his trailer.
Shumaker put out another plea, and found a trucking company willing to haul his donations down to Texas, where they will be distributed to people as they make their way back to their homes.
Local folks aren’t focusing all of their charitable thoughts on Houston. They’re happy to help out closer to home, as well.
Every week, we come across another Go Fund Me page, asking for money to help a family trying to pay medical bills, or a church asking for meals to help a family recovering from the loss of a loved one.
In every situation, the response is overwhelming as people lend a helping hand to those in need.
It’s heartwarming to know we live in a community that cares enough to give freely of their gifts, both financially and otherwise, when confronted with someone in need.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Mark Brooky. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to [email protected] or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.