Two nights ago Matthew and I were walking home to our apartment in the small village of Beacon Falls. We were surprised to see how many vehicles were pulling into the local Firehouse, the Beacon Hose. When we walked closer we realized that vehicles were lining up from the highway to drop off donations for Texas for Hurricane Harvey relief. A tower of water bottles was balanced by the back doors and boxes of food, hygiene supplies, pet food, and other donations were in piles and boxes around the firehouse waiting to be loaded into a truck from the Seymour Fire Department. Cars kept lining up to drop off their donations.
We were absolutely touched by the community’s passion to help. Volunteers from the police department guided people to the firehouse and firemen and local neighbors from the town organized donations as they came in. As the donation time was coming to a close, Matthew and I quickly walked to our apartment and raided our pantry for healthy and unopened items to donate for the food drive. I grabbed my camera to document the events at the fire house because I wanted to share this story of this beautiful small community that is making a big impact.
There is a quote I love from the famous Mr. Roger’s. When tragedy strikes he suggests looking for the helpers.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
― Fred Rogers
Busy volunteers, some of whom had been there since seven in the morning, turned helping into fun with an assembly line to box smaller items. A volunteer ensures the truck is ready for the twenty-seven hour journey to Houston. That evening Matthew and I had been discussing the tragedy of the hurricane and wishing we could help in some way. Many people have expressed the same desire to help. One of the best ways is to donate money to an organization that is offering relief to the victims. Another is to donate water, food, and pet food. People with the best of intentions mistakenly leave items that cannot be used. A general rule is to send items that are brand new or nearly new and make sure it is something you yourself would use. Sadly, donation centers have been given piles of junk that cannot assist the relief efforts.
After assisting with the loading we walked home feeling very proud of our new hometown. To the Beacon Falls and Seymour Fire Department, Beacon Falls Police Department, and the many volunteers, thank you for all that you do. People like you are the sunshine after the storm.
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