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Christenson Family Hurricane Relief

$40,732 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 297 people in 14 months
Created August 27, 2017
This fundraiser is for our sister Calli, her husband Dylan and their three boys who lost everything they owned in Hurricane Harvey. As most of you probably know hurricane Harvey was highly underestimated as people prepared for rain and flooding. Along with many other families in the Houston area the Christenson family became trapped by the flash floods. On Sunday morning at 4am they woke up to a foot of water in their home and quickly realized their need for evacuation. They were graciously taken in by their next door neighbors who opened the second flood of their home to them. As the day progressed and the waters continued to rise their vehicles, home and everything inside was ruined. It then became evident that they would need to evacuate their neighborhood to find safe and dry land. On top of all of this the Christenson's moved to Houston just two weeks ago and therefore did not have renters insurance or flood insurance. Since they had not been in their home for 30 days they were not eligible for insurance at the time of the hurricane. Their hearts will be heavy as they start working to put their lives back together. With that said, we are certain that the Christenson's would greatly appreciate any financial help and support at this time. Lindsey & Ashley
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9/9 Update

Dear friends and family –
It was brought to our attention that Harvey hit two weeks ago tomorrow. This seems impossible to us; it feels like we are still in the thick of it and I am positive that we were evacuating no more than three days ago. We have spent every second of every day since the storm working to resume some sort of normalcy, but the reality is that we’ve slept in 7 different beds over the last 11 nights. In many areas of Houston life seems back to “normal”. We are in a new neighborhood in which the majority of homes did not take on water. So, while Houstonians are acutely aware of those struggling around them, life moves on. If we are honest, in some moments this is difficult for us. We are learning that these are normal emotions in the midst of grief and trauma, and we are working hard to lean in to those feelings and keep perspective. I’ve driven back through our old neighborhood a couple of times and the magnitude of devastation is astounding. Multiple times a day Dylan or I mention to each other that we don’t know where we would be or what we would be doing without the support of our community. Your continued outpouring of love and support is most encouraging to us. Thank you for helping us to rebuild. My brain often drifts to an image of our family walking through the sea of people who have reached out and cared for us in the last two weeks, each of you standing on the sidelines and cheering us forward. Some of your faces we recognize and others we don’t. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about all the people, near and far, friends and strangers, praying for us and supporting us. Thank you.

Samuel and Seth returned to Houston today after spending a few days with Papa Doc and Gigi in Lubbock. This was good for them and gave them a familiar environment to rest in while Dylan and I, along with Henry, worked to get some things settled in Houston and ready for their arrival. Last week we had the hard conversation with the boys about the reality of what happened to our things during the flood, and that conversation was as difficult as you could imagine, but it also showed us their courage and resiliency. They are thrilled with the new toys, books and games we’ve been given so far to replace their lost items, but continue to have a lot of questions. They asked us tonight if we would go back to our old house. They also didn’t understand how we had Chick fil A gift cards (given to us recently) if everything was damaged in the flood. Samuel asked us if there would ever be another storm in Houston again. We will be working with a family therapist and hopefully taking the right steps to help them process things as positively as possible. For now, we will prepare for school to begin on Monday and trust that the routine and being around teachers and fellow students in similar situations will be good for them.

Dylan will also return to a normal work schedule on Monday. We can’t say enough good things about his company, Black and Veatch. They have gone above and beyond to care for Dylan, always assuring him that caring for his family is first priority. Dylan has been an employee for just a few weeks but you would think that he had been there for years. It’s quite remarkable and we are so, so blessed by their gracious understanding and support.

We will update again soon but feel like we can’t end this one without saying one more time - thank you.

We fall asleep tonight thinking of our friends in Florida and all along the east coast. Our prayers are with you.

With Gratitude,
Dylan and Calli
#HurricaneHarvey #HoustonStrong
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9/2 Update
WE HAVE THE BEST PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES! 
We continue to be absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from near and far!

Yesterday was a big step as we headed back in to Houston to clean out our home, and we were so blessed to have some help.
Every year, Dylan and his childhood friends/"brothers" meet up in a common location and spend a long weekend together. Typically, this trip revolves around a 49ers football game, but for many reasons, the brothers decided to forgo a game and meet in Austin over Labor Day weekend this year. Never in a million years did those guys think they'd end up spending their vacation cleaning out our flooded home, but earlier this week when Dylan realized he wouldn't be going, the guys offered to come on and help. Thank God for this because we never could have done it without them. 

So with the brothers, Dylan and myself, my dad, sister Ashley and brother in law Bobby met in Houston yesterday and cleaned out our home. My mom, sister Lindsey and brother in law Riley stayed back with my kids and kept them wonderfully distracted and comfortable. Deciding what was and wasn't salvageable proved to be much more difficult than we anticipated. The damage from the flood is extensive and we ended up losing all of our furniture and the majority of our clothes, shoes and other personal belongings. It's amazing how much we find ourselves attached to stuff, but we've been reminded again and again that things are not important. Our boys do not know the magnitude of the damage; that they've lost all their toys, books, games, puzzles, etc. Processing through how we will talk about the loss and help them move forward made us the most emotional. 

Dylan and I also made the hard decision to stay in Houston, rather than return to Lubbock for the semester. We have many reasons for this choice and believe it will be positive for us to walk through this season with others who have shared in this tragedy. We feel extremely fortunate to have secured housing in a rental home as many are still desperately searching for vacant options. The boys will attend our originally planned school, Dylan will still be close to his office and we will live very near our old neighborhood, but in an area that stayed dry during Harvey. We are so thankful for this provision. 

We can't thank our family enough. They've watched our kids (for days), helped us to think and process, driven us hundreds of miles, provided us clothes and food and been present to our loss. 

We can't thank you all enough. We are so blessed and humbled to have been given the tremendous gift of the resources to rebuild our lives. Words really can't express our gratitude. We are still trying to wrap our brains around all of the people who have donated to us, contacted us to help, and prayed over us for the last week.

We also continue to be amazed by the community spirit within Houston. We had neighbors we met just days before, coming by yesterday to hug us and offer help; total strangers driving by offering lunches and dinners for the crew; and a simple post on the community message board was all it took to have someone from the community run by more supplies when we ran out.

We plan to take Sunday "off" and just rest our brains for a day. On Monday we will begin the process of moving in to our new place and getting it ready for the boys to join us. They begin school on 9/11.

To all of you praying for us, thank you. 

With our greatest gratitude,
Dylan and Calli #hurricaneharvey #houstonstrong
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We made it to Austin! We are staying with our cousins, Trae and Chris Diede. Some of us will head back to Houston on Thursday to begin clean up. We are so humbled and appreciative of your continued support and prayers.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
More updates soon

Calli and Dylan
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8/28 Update: Friends and family,

WE ARE COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED BY YOUR GENEROSITY, THOUGHTFULNESS AND CARE FOR OUR FAMILY.
Thank you for the countless calls, texts and messages you've sent our way. What we have experienced in the last 48 hrs is surreal and something we would wish on no one. At 6am yesterday morning we left our home with a foot of water and went to our neighbors (who have a second story). At about 5pm last night we were rescued by police boat and taken to higher ground. When we left, our house had at least five feet of water and our cars were submerged. We stayed the night with gracious friends and we were picked up by family today. We tried most of the day to get to Austin (approx 3 hrs from here), but due to flooding and road closures, ended up not being able to get out. We are safe in a hotel tonight and will try again tomorrow. We are heartbroken and have no idea what the future holds, just beginning to process the reality of this disaster; but we are beyond grateful for your friendship and love. It means everything to us and gives us encouragement to continue on the long road ahead. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Please continue to pray for us and for our very brave boys and their tender hearts. They've experienced a lot and have a lot more to go. Pray that we can safely get out tomorrow. Please pray for all Houstonians and especially those waiting for help tonight. Pray for the volunteers and first responders who are absolute heroes.

We have experienced many amazing moments through the last two days and we will share more of those stories later. For now - our love and our deepest gratitude to you,

Dylan and Calli
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$40,732 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 297 people in 14 months
Created August 27, 2017
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