Hurricane Harvey has impacted tens of thousands of people across southeast Texas. Unfortunately, as a native Houstonian, I'm not alone in saying that the effects of the storm have entered my inner circle.
Early Sunday morning my brother, his wife, and two sons were forced to leave their home. After being turned away by a neighbor, they made the difficult choice to wade through flood waters and move to a nearby house under construction for the sake of finding a place to stay higher and drier.
After spending most of the day at the construction site, thankfully, a good Samaritan in a boat came knocking on the door. When he offered to move them to a safer place, they agreed. This person moved the family to the nearest highway overpass where they could wait for other transportation to be arranged.
They were dropped on an overpass on Interstate 610 while waiting to be transported by the National Guard to a more permanent shelter. They spent 4 hours standing in the rain awaiting transport (see NY Times photo above).
After being moved and spending a night at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown, my parents (thankfully unharmed by the storm) picked the family up and brought them back to their apartment.
Here's who we're talking about:
My brother, Chris
his wife, Sherri
and their sons Brandon, 17
and TJ, 9
Now for the fun part - 4 adults, 2 children, 2 dogs and 4 cats are sharing a 1000 ft. apartment. It ain't fun, but that's the way it's going to be for the foreseeable future.
My brother, Chris, and his family have lost everything – 2 cars, their home, clothes, furniture, etc. Take a look around if you're reading this at home... a few days ago Chris and his family probably had most of the things that you're looking at. Now imagine your home empty and think about what it would take to acquire all of those things again.
That's the rub.
Like many others in southeast Texas, Chris and his wife elected not to purchase insurance for a situation like this. Given they don't live in the typical 100-year floodplain, they elected not to be insured against a disaster like this. As such, insurance will not be recuperating the house, or any items contained within.
I've established this page as a resource for my brother and his family to start to rebuild. If you're able, please donate. Any contribution, large or small, will be put to good use rebuilding the lives of good people who would do (and have done) the same if the roles were reversed.
The family is also in need of clothing and school supplies for the boys. If you're able, or would prefer to contribute in this way please email me directly at [email redacted] to ensure every contribution is effective – they don't want any more than what they need.
With that said, I understand that the goal for this campaign is high. $15k is a LOT of money, but it's going to take a lot to rebuild for a family of 4.
If you're not able to contribute tangibly, please like or share this page to get the word out. It's going to take a village to make this happen.
Thanks to everyone for the support, and the well wishes.
- Riker McClaskey
- Ashok Pandey
- Christin Faykus
- Frank Perry
- Tawny James
Organizer and beneficiary
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