Please help my family in Houston get back on its feet.
My aunt, uncle, and their three children lost everything including their home and their cars in the recent flooding and need as much financial assistance as possible to start rebuilding their life.
They'll need a strong financial foundation for rebuilding a life as soon as possible since it's likely that any insurance or disaster relief money won't come through for months. They can use any donations to start buying basic needs like replacing clothing and essential belongings, and start saving toward a car and covering housing costs. I'll be collecting the money and transferring to the family once they're set up to receive funds in the next month. Our goal is $10,000 in the mext two weeks to cover a car and other essentials including relocation, cleanup, and rebuilding costs.
Some of you may know that my family in Houston is a big one. My mom, Cristina Parra, is one of seven all living in the Houston area, so when Harvey hit last weekend, we went into high alert to keep tabs on the Parras and their extended families.
We were in touch as the hurricane escalated, shooting messages back and forth on GroupMe, sharing evacuation routes as they were available, and then when they became too risky, flooded, or unknown, sharing the numbers for various confusing rescue hotlines. All we could do was pray that everyone stayed safe.
As of now, the family most affected in our unit lives in a neighborhood making headlines for its dangerous proximity to the overflowing Barker Reservoir. They didn't expect the flooding to be so severe in their neighborhood - if anything, they felt comforted by the reservoir next door, thinking that it would help the flood waters recede more quickly. Instead, the reservoir became a risk and on Monday morning, large swaths of Sugarland and Katy were issued mandatory and voluntary evacuation notices, well after many of Houston's roadways had been flooded with water.
Unable to wade out because of the high water, they went to a neighbors who had two floors. The rescue and information hotlines were jammed with callers and no one could figure out what to do. None of the emergency management offices could provide advice on how to evacuate. The water was rising at the rate of a foot per hour in the couple of hours until finally my family was picked up by a Coast Guard boat going door to door.
Grateful to be saved, they left their neighborhood by boat with nothing but their dog and some important documents. They left behind two cars and a house full of furniture, clothing -- an entire life of belongings. We've heard reports that many one story homes in their neighborhood could be completely underwater. They will need to rebuild their home, and they won't even be able to survey the damage until people are able to re-enter the neighborhood, which could take more than a month.
They may not the only ones in my family to suffer losses, but we don't know the extent of it yet. We are waiting to see what happens with the levees, rivers, and reservoirs throughout the rest of the city. We may update the goal based on new assessments of damages.
For more information on how the Barker and Addicks reservoirs faltered, read here:
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