On that first Sunday that Lil Sis and I took our adventure by boat and then by truck down the bayou to get our first glance at the damage, our truck driver, Mechanic, said something very interesting. I’m noting it here so I remember it for future reference.
“When you evacuate, you can become a responder. When you stay behind, you become a victim.”
But for me, with my home flooding for the second time, after not having fully recovered from Rita three years prior, I felt more like a victim even though I evacuated. If I had been able to elevate my home to the required 12 feet, it would not have flooded, and I could have been a responder helping people less fortunate than I.
But I found myself reeling from the damage–not just for me, but for all those like me who knew this would happen again if the barrier islands and marsh were not restored. And my mind raced, being faced with decisions that would affect whether I could stay knowing this truth–with no promise of said restoration in site.
Lil Sis ran interference for me as much as she could, realizing that I was fairly numb, (to be honest, I felt more like a zombie feeling almost nothing because feeling was too painful). She helped make immediate decisions for me that I could not make for myself.
And on Day 4 after the storm, after getting the kitchen floor cleaned up, my daughter called.
“Mom, remember that email about this couple in town who started this non-profit to directly help people affected by the storms? Well, I called and asked him what one had to do to get aid for a family, and Mom, is it ok if he calls you? Do you need anything?”
And quite honestly, I can’t tell you what happened after that. Maybe LilSis can fill in the gaps, but somehow the non-profit, Windstrong, got the word that we could use a refrigerator . . .
and that same day, Mike, the owner of a local steakhouse and co-founder of Windstrong, along with his sidekick, Phil, took out the smelly old refrigerator for us . . .
and put it on the trash pile . . .
and brought in the new one. LilSis and I thought they would put it in place and that would be that . . .
but we were wrong. They levelled it, installed the handles, put it properly in place, plugged it in and made sure it was running before they left.
Mike was so excited as he shared with us the vision he and his wife had for taking donations and passing the help directly to the people who needed it most and this was their first big act of giving!!! And we were so blessed to see their dedication and care for those struck by the storms.
If you know of anyone in the Houma area who needs help, please email Windstrong from their website and let them know. Or if you would like to donate to a local group KNOWING that the money will go directly to help individuals and not toward administration, then this is the place–including designated donations to help families anonymously.
We were both humbled at their generous, giving spirits and honored that we were the first recipients of their acts of service. Blessings to Mike, Theresa, Phil, and all those who donated to Windstrong to help the Bayou People. Thank you all from the bottom of our bayou hearts.
To be continued . . . . .