Tiffany's Recovery from Harvey Fund

The catastrophic flooding by Hurricane Harvey in the southeast Houston area near Sagemont has devastated the livelihood of my sister, Tiffany Martinez (who is 6.5 months pregnant with a baby girl), and family (three kids: Hailey, 18 yrs old in first year at San Jacinto College; Jordyn, 12 yrs old in 7th grade; and Masen,6 yrs old in 1st grade).

My name is Vance Ginn, and I created this Go Fund Me page to ask that if you are willing and able to assist, that you will read their story and consider donating to them in whatever capacity possible. This is my first time to create such a page, but I’m hoping to help them however I can. We appreciate your consideration in making a donation here

God bless you as He has us every day.

Here is the story she shared with me:

“The nightmare started on Friday, August 25, 2017, at 10 pm. After a day of rain, we had checked on water levels outside our apartment and there was rain pooling but no flooding. We went to bed for the night and tried to prepare for a night of rain.

At 10:30 pm, my nextdoor neighbor started banging on our door and windows to alarm us of rapidly rising water. Within that 30-minute period, the water level reached our front door and was already seeping under the door. This scared us more than most things one could imagine, and the next steps were based on adrenaline.

I quickly got up and started preparing trash bags of clothes that I could get, of course while 6.5 months pregnant. I packed medications, important documents, blankets, and pillows.

Miraculously, the apartment directly above ours was vacant and my neighbor happens to be the maintenance person of the complex. He jumped the patio fence to get up on the patio above and entered to let us into the upstairs apartment. I sent the boys up with bags to carry as my boyfriend, Rick, and me started picking things up off the floor and putting them on the bed and up in the closet, including baby pictures and electronics. We grabbed both boys’ twin size mattresses and headed upstairs.

My neighbor’s family was already bringing up their belongings as well. In the process, we started seeing families running towards the parking lot, only to run back since the vehicles were already underwater. We called them up into the apartment and started spreading out in the empty unit.

Although we didn't have electricity, we had water running water and were safe. We spent the next few hours just watching the rising water while Rick and my neighbor went in the complex helping the first floor, flooded neighbors move up to the second floor. The kids finally were able to get some sleep, but I just laid there worried and wondering what the next hours/days would hold for my family.

911 was overwhelmed with calls to rescue people and we weren't considered urgent because we were in a safe place, so we had no way of knowing how long we would be trapped. At the highest point, water reached almost two feet high in our apartment, but some places in the front of the complex had water levels around four feet deep (about chest level).

We had minimal food and drinking water, but we did our best to make sure everyone in the apartment was fed and hydrated. At one point during the night, Jordyn started having a hard time breathing, and I had to quickly grab him and lay his back on my chest to help him regulate his breathing. I alternated giving him his inhaler and attempting to calm him down. Two of our neighbors asked if they could pray for him. I quickly agreed and let them take over. They both laid hands on him and everyone in the apartment was silent. They prayed for him for a solid, beautiful three minutes. Before long, his breathing slowed and he was able to relax and breathe normal. Miracles do happen!

The rain finally started to slow at about 6 am and the water slowly receded. At about noon, it was starting to heat up in the apartment and we knew we couldn't stay there much longer. We were finally able to get in touch of Rick’s mother and father-in-law who live about 2 miles away in south Houston but still had power and only minimal water damage to their house. My father-in-law said he could make it close to us but he couldn't get all the way in the complex because of the high water. We made the decision that we had to get out.

So, we put the non-essentials back in our first floor apartment packed three bags of what we would take with us, which our 6-month old puppy Copper and his kennel. We walked through our apartment devastated by the damage done from the storm, prayed that God would keep His hands over it and thanked Him for keeping us safe, then headed out, not exactly knowing what the future held or how we would make it to the truck.

We had about a 0.5-mile trek to make to meet him where the water wasn't too high so his truck could make it (pic above is from an abandoned vehicle). At a few points, the water was at my waist and the currents were strong. I had Masen holding onto my leg as I had a bag full of food and was trying to cover us with an umbrella. It was like a scene from a movie—really a horror movie. Unreal!

While soaking wet (picture of Rick with Masen on his back), we made it to his truck and then through winding paths to avoid flooded streets, we eventually made it to their house where we are now until things clear (picture of Beamer road).

The first thing we did was undress, shower, and put on dry clothes. My mother-in-law washed our clothes, fed us, and made us rest, even though our adrenaline was still racing. My sister-in-law, Roxy, and her son had just gotten there as well since they were without power, but not flooded.

I could finally breathe! It felt like I had been holding my breath for so long as I tried to stay calm for my scared kids, and the little baby girl in my belly. My thought went to the view of the apartment before we left. We had a water level line up almost two feet, the apartment flooded, and walls completely soaked and buckling. The boys’ room was in shambles with ruined toys, bottom bunk, dresser, two shelves, a shelf full of books, everything in their closet floors, including their shoes and jackets. Hailey's dresser and two book shelves and clothes and shoes ruined. All lower level of kitchen supplies ruined, including all food, pots, and pans. My room had ruined dresser, clothes, shoes, bookshelf and everything on it. The living room was a disaster with ruined couches, entertainment center, and all electronics and gaming systems. Also, all of the baby supplies that we collected were ruined. To top it off, the car is totaled so there’s no way for me to get around or back to work as nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston’s Medical Center.
I have already applied for FEMA assistance, but that could take weeks. I have already been approved for hotel assistance but am staying put where we are since we have no way to get anywhere until it stops raining and the water goes down (please God!). And without a vehicle it’s hard to plan on what to do next.

 Currently, my biggest worry is food, clothing, cars, shoes, and safety! Anything helps and prayers are greatly appreciated!”

Thank you for reading their story. You may know of others in Houston who are going through a similar scenario. I intend to help out as much as possible, but I can’t get to her and want to do what I can to assist, so I thought this would be a good option—the first time I’ve created such an account. If you have any way to help, whether it be donations on this page, clothes, vehicle, furniture, prayers, etc., please do so here or let us know as soon as possible.

Thank you so much! May God bless you.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Vance Ginn 
Humble Camp, TX
Tiffany Martinez 
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