Let us start by saying that this has been one of the most incredible experiences of our lives—incredibly stressful, incredibly difficult, and incredibly filled with blessing and love. Many people, some we know and some we don’t, have generously given to us, and some are still asking how they can help. We are incredibly grateful and blessed by your love and desire.
We had an unbelievable amount of help that day. It made us feel so loved and cared for in the midst of such great loss. It was so cool to be a part of such a great day! Everything was taken care of for us. God knew what we needed and He sent it. Truly surreal!
Our GoFundMe link says a little about what happened and how our home was one of many to be ruined by Hurricane Harvey. We ended up getting 11-18” of flood water in our single-story home, which amounted to losing about 75% of our home. (At least the attic stayed dry!) Our home flooded on Monday, Aug 27th, and we were able to return and demo it on Saturday, September, 2.
That being said it is also exhausting and overwhelming to consider all that is involved in rebuilding our home and our lives. We aren’t even so concerned with the loss of property or materials, but rather the struggle we know is ahead of us. What we need is long-term support and attention—thoughtful words, notes, and texts; moments of relief and fun; and prayer for strength, energy, and unity. Keep asking how we’re doing. Keep checking.
Many have given through GoFundMe, and many have wanted to avoid losing the percentage they keep. We have established PayPal and Venmo accounts to provide as many options as possible. Others have asked about specific physical needs we may have, and the fact of the matter is we still aren’t entirely sure. We have a very dear friend working through the spreadsheet and photos of everything we’ve lost, and the stuff that we did get to save is spread about to three different friends’ houses. We have been richly blessed in our short-term needs, but we really won’t know what our long-term needs are for a while. That said, there are things that we definitely need as we begin to rebuild, and to that end we have created an Amazon wish list.
There is still a massive financial gap in our lives right now. While we are glad we have flood insurance, we have separate $5,000 deductibles on our house and on its contents, so that means we’ll need to come up with $10,000. We also lost my minivan to flood water, so that’s a $500 deductible, plus whatever the difference will be on the valuation of the vehicle and what we’ll need to buy to replace it. The van that we were in when we evacuated suffered damage to the seal on the (already cracked) windshield, so we will need to pay to have that replaced completely out of pocket. Then to top it all off Ginny was involved in a hit-and-run accident today. She and the kids are fine, and she managed to get a photo of the license plate on the vehicle, so the police are tracking them down. Hopefully they will be able to pay for the damages to our remaining van. Financially, we just straight up need help with the huge load. Any day-to-day needs you help us with also allows us to save towards our deductibles and vehicle costs.
While we qualified for 30 days of hotel assistance, there was only one in our area, which was slammed. We have been incredibly blessed by multiple families who have opened their homes to us. We are still waiting for a decision from FEMA on our eligibility for long-term Housing Assistance until our home is made habitable again.
Jesse is a professor at Houston Baptist University. He also directs the school's theatre club, does handyman projects on the side, and produces features and short films. A Pastor's kid/missionary kid, his view of life is at the very least unique. And hopefully helpful.