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Hurricane Harvey: “Serving others is the best thing a person can do”

Student helped others impacted by Hurricane Harvey

Lindsey+Hughes%2C+eighth+grade%2C+served+individuals+in+Houston+after+Hurricane+Harvey+hit+the+Texas+coastline.+
Lindsey Hughes, eighth grade, served individuals in Houston after Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coastline.

Lindsey Hughes, eighth grade, served individuals in Houston after Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coastline.

Lindsey Hughes, eighth grade, served individuals in Houston after Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coastline.

LeopardLife Lindsey Hughes, Managing Editor

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Over the past few weeks, hurricanes have been a relevant issue at hand. People have seen the worst of the worst all over the news. Highways flooded, homes destroyed. Hurricane Harvey hit around Houston on the weekend of August 25, and I got to help some of the people in need. Weeks later other hurricanes continue to hit various other areas.

I had the opportunity to travel to Houston Saturday and Sunday, Sept.  9 and 10,  and work for many people that were affected by the storm. I prepared by packing rain boots, jeans and anything for a journey over mud and water, but I was wrong. Houston was hot and dry; definitely not what I expected to see after a category four hurricane. I went with my father, sister and the rest of my church group. There were about 22 of us in our group, not including the thousands of other people in other groups helping out. We left around 5 in the morning, so we could start working at 9.

The first house I traveled to was a small, green home, looking fairly normal on the outside. When I went in, 90 percent of the furniture was gone, piled in a ditch. Flood damage went up on the walls about three to four feet. In that house, I went through kitchen supplies, organizing what was salvageable or not. We also tore down four feet of drywall, tore up floorboards, and compacted the good furniture in the backyard. The homeowners/ family was very thankful for our work, and one lady thanked me about 20 times.

While one part of our group worked on the first house, the other half of our group work on a second home. This one was much smaller than the first. It needed the same work done, drywall out, along with floorboards and nails out of the walls. I got to work a little bit at both houses. The second house was just down the street. Like the other house, most of the furniture and belongings was ruined. It was hot, humid, and hard work. The dust masks we had to wear only made the heat worse. After we concluded the work at both houses around 7 p.m., we ended the night, but only to prepare for more work on the second day, Sunday.

The church organization we went with was called “Helping Hands”. On that Sunday, we cleaned up debris and took out nails from three different houses and apartments. After we finished at 2 p.m., we drove back home to prepare for the coming week. We ended up getting home around 6:30 p.m.

I learned many things while working in Houston. For one, I learned that we are so lucky to live in Lucas. I feel like sometimes people can take our safety for granted, but my eyes were opened over the weekend. I realized that so many people are struggling in the world. When I looked at the living conditions of people affected by the storm, when most of them don’t have flood insurance, my heart broke.

Serving other people is the best thing that a person can do. I tend to complain about the gross food, ugly clothes, and bad grades, but when I was helping other people, those inward thoughts disappeared; my focus was shifted to other people, not me. I want to urge people to look towards other people and not themselves. To me, it is important to realize that helping a person can change lives.

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Hurricane Harvey: “Serving others is the best thing a person can do”