Kindness Flooding In

November 02, 2017

Grace Hatfield, 17, lives in Houston, Texas, is a senior at St. Agnes Academy and will be attending University of Houston in the fall. She loves to sing, write poetry, and make weird clothing. She values kindness and honesty above all else. Grace’s favorite thing to do is spend time with her friends and family, and to play with her new puppy, Ava.

“Ten inches and rising.” I woke up to mother urgently talking to my sister and me. “Ten inches and rising,” she said. My sister was sobbing, my father was frustrated out of his mind, and my little brother still slept calmly in the hotel bed. Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Texas on the 25th of August, as a category four storm. My family and I had lifted all our things onto stands and cinderblocks. We evacuated to a hotel on high ground and moved our cars to the top floor of a parking garage. The flooding began in my neighborhood on Friday night and early Saturday morning. The water kept rising for about two days.

After the rain subsided, my family and I went back to visit my home, which at the time, was under about four feet of water. We had to rescue my cat, who had been in the house during flooding. After making sure she was safe, we began walking through the house. I walked into my room and just stood there looking at the mess at my feet. Every piece of furniture we raised had fallen over into the water, every item I had put up higher than a few inches had fallen as well. The wood of my piano had split, which caused it to fall apart. My clothes and keepsakes were completely soaked and covered in mold. Everything was gone. I began to scream and cry in frustration.

This was the third time my family flooded: first in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, then the Memorial Day flood, and now during Harvey. However, my family and I were some of the lucky ones, because we had experience with these situations. We have flood insurance, while so many others do not. All of us are safe, and we are financially stable, we will be okay. We have already found a new house, and we are slowly replacing what we lost. While recovering, so many individuals and groups have reached out to me. I have received care packages and money from friends, family, and coworkers.

I received calls and notes from people I thought were angry with me or didn’t care about me, asking if I was safe. Disasters have a way of bringing people together, despite differences or bad feelings. So many people contributed to the city of Houston for hurricane relief. The most notable contributor is Texans player J.J. Watt, who raised over $37 million and donated it all to families and organizations involved in the relief effort. GlobalGiving has also started a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, with a goal of $5 million. They have less than half a million to go before reaching that number. Many other charities and organizations have and continue to give to the people of Houston, which is changing so many lives and helping many people recover and get back on their feet. Hurricane Harvey brought in a hurricane of kindness, from all around the United States and the rest of the world.

If you or someone you know would like to donate to Hurricane Harvey relief, please check out:

If you want to read more about J.J. Watt: