It’s gone. The pier in Port Aransas that I walked with my Dad on over a hundred times in my 40 years of life; where I caught my first flounder, watched many sunsets, fed the seagulls, and caught countless fish with my family. It was our family tradition to walk this pier after being at the beach all day. Now, it’s just a few posts sitting the ocean. Hearing about it on the news and seeing pictures online brought sadness to me, but when I was standing there seeing it with my own eyes it broke my heart that myTexas Coast was hit by Hurricane Harvey. This week, I took a trip to Aransas Pass where I met with my blog sisters to help friends feed their Aransas Pass community hot meals. It was an experience that has been the most humbling. Children with no shoes, families driving around looking for food, water, and ice; driving around because they have nowhere to go to other than a home that has been ruined by the flood waters and the gusts of hurricane winds. Not to mention the Texas heat with no air conditioning, swarms of mosquitos, and the stench of the moldy water. My outspoken self was speechless. When you are with someone who has lost everything they own, you have no idea what to say to them without sounding like everyone else. Sometimes the best way to be a friend, is just being there without saying a word.
My friend and fellow author Vianney Rodriguez along with her childhood friend Margarita Burgess got together to provide their hometown of Aransas Pass a delicious homecooked meal. You could see the delight in their faces along with their teams and family as they passed out hot plates, aguas frescas, and cupcakes to their community. With all that was going on around them, no running water or electricity, they set up a canopy on a parking lot serving lunch to the locals and workers. Vianney drove us around the town and showed us the damage the hurricane did to her home, local businesses, and shared what she has went through. Everyone had lost so much and the little town was sad in its silence, which is rare for summertime. If more locals can pull together like these talented women have, no telling what else can be achieved. Though its going to take a lot of hard work and time for things to get better, these two women are proof that working together, faith, and hope can make each day brighter. Vianney is an author, has an award-winning blog called Sweet Life, and an online store. Margarita is the founder and owner of GAF Catering where she shares her love of feeding, nurturing and providing for others. I am proud to know them both.
The smaller coastal towns are the ones that provide our lodging, our bait, our food, etc. when we spend time at the coast with our friends and families. If we don’t help them out, who will? Because many of us here in San Antonio visit the Texas coast often, many of us have donated what we can and will continue to help the Texas coast and their locals as much as we are able to. If you plan on heading to any of the Texas Coastal towns to take donations and/or serve food, keep in mind that there is no electricity, water, or ice. Stores, restaurants, and gas stations are not open. Be sure to be prepared by having a full tank of gas and an extra one to bring along just in case. Carry an ice chest with plenty of water, snacks, and food if you’re planning on staying there a full day. Here are things the Texas coast needs: Cleaning supplies, toiletries, soap, blankets, linens, pet food, clothes, shoes, towels. Coastal towns that need help: Aransas Pass, Gregory, Tivoli, Refugio, Woodsboro, Bayside, Palacios, Port O’Connor, Rockport, Port Aransas, and Port Lavaca. Texas Coastal Relief 2017 Group: www.facebook.com/groups/TexasCoastRelief2017