Rivera Relief Fund

Dear Family and friends,

As we all know, Hurricane Harvey recently devastated the Texas coast and displaced thousands of families. While this has been an unbearably difficult time for the citizens of Texas, the storm has not taken our unbreakable spirit as we prove time and time again our willingness to help our fellow neighbor. I am hoping to continue this charitable spirit flowing through each of us by asking that you help my wonderful friends Angela and Mark Rivera during this tragic time for their family. Angela and Mark are some of the best people Frank and I have gotten the pleasure to call our friends; in recent years we have grown closer to them, getting to know their 3 beautiful children as well as their close family.

Angie and Mark live in Bear Creek near the Addicks Reservoir which was purposefully released by city officials during the storm to protect the greater Houston Metropolitan area. It flooded countless neighborhoods in the process and the additional flooding on top of the continuous rain left their neighborhood with almost 5 feet of standing water for a week.

In the weeks before Harvey, Angie and Mark purchased a brand new home that still needed to begin construction. Eager to start their new life, they decided to place their current home for sale and move in with her parents for a period of 4 months until their new home was completed. They placed all of their belongings in storage and chose to forego the insurance on the promise from the storage facility that the area did not flood. No one could have predicted that Harvey would be so catastrophic.

The storage facility was struck hard and drowned all of their belongings and memories in brown flood water. They were unable to access the facility for 8 days after the storm due to the waters' inability to recede. They were forced to live with the emotional and mental strain of knowing that their entire life was under water and there was nothing they could do to save it; left with only a few clothes and broken hearts.

Angie and Mark could not find it in their hearts to break the news to their 3 children, who also lost everything to Harvey. Veronica, who recently graduated from High School and is going to college in the fall, left most of her new clothes, yearbooks, high school mementos and even her diploma in the storage unit. Andres lost most of his clothes and electronics, as well as pictures and memories with his friends. And their youngest, 8 year old Valerie lost all of her toys, clothes and everything that a beautiful little girl could hold dear to her heart. All of these things are unsalvageable. They're nothing more than moldy bits of life left behind by dirty sewage water.

Their situation is made even more stressful by the constant fear of knowing that if Valerie finds out all of her stuff is destroyed, it could trigger a febrile or temporal lobe seizure which she has had since she was a baby. Even the slightest excitement or scare can trigger one of her attacks, causing her to spend days in the hospital in agony. Their son Andres also suffers from absence seizures, leaving the Riveras with staggering medical bills.

Angie and Mark, like many of their neighbors, did not purchase flood insurance and since Angie has lived in that area for most her life, they were confident that their home would not sustain much damage. Because of the magnitude of the destruction throughout the Houston area, it will take days before the FEMA adjuster can inspect their home and the amount of assistance expected to be given to them is bleak compared to the expenses a family of five will have after such a tragedy.

The number one priority for both Angie and Mark will always be their children and making sure that the psychological or emotional burden of this traumatic event doesn't prevent them from continuing with their everyday social and school life. It would mean the world for anyone who can donate to these wonderful people do so. All the funds raised in this campaign will go directly to the Rivera family and their journey to repair their home and other vital necessities such as basic clothes, school suppplies, beds and other furniture, as well as appliances they lost.

Through these hard times, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and I have faith that the community will rally together to help this deserving family get back on their feet. Angie, Mark and their children are generous and kind people, always willing to lend a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on when times are tough. Let's be their shoulder to lean on in their time of need. Please share their story with others if you can as every little bit can help. I thank you all in advance for your generous donations and support.

Sincerly and with gratitude,

Jessica Xixitla


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Organizer and beneficiary

Jessica Xixitla 
Houston, TX
Angela Rivera 
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