When Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area, we wanted to pay our respects to the people who lost their lives or homes. And we were able to help thanks to your donations. The Mahogany Workplace raised $252 — more than enough to help a Houstonian in need.
Our research led us to Tanya Djavadzadeh, who needed exactly that amount to afford a payment on her new car (the hurricane destroyed her old vehicle). Tanya describes her scary run-in with Harvey here:
On August 26, the residents of Houston went to sleep expecting a few days of rain, but we woke to a nightmare. Within two hours, Hurricane Harvey submerged my street in water. No car or truck was visible. The water pressure was so strong it busted open our windows and flooded inside. Luckily, my house is two stories, so everyone was safe upstairs, watching the water surround our home. It felt like we were trapped on an island. Thirty years of memories and savings vanished in an instant.
A few hours later, first responders approached our door in a boat, and rescued my family. They took us to a local elementary school, which eventually hosted over 1,000 people. We anxiously waited out the storm in fear, sadness, exhaustion, and confusion. What was next? Where would we live? What damage has been done?
The rain eventually stopped. Four days later the water descended and we returned to our home, which had over five feet of water in it. We opened the door to all of our belongings soaked and covered in mud. The water had flipped over furniture, broken windows, and destroyed family pictures and videos. The piano my brother and I grew up playing was gone forever. I can survive without sentimental items, but it was still traumatizing and unbelievable.
We got trash bags and masks and started cleaning — and we weren’t alone. I grew up in the school district I substitute teach for now. My younger brother was an active member of the same high school and graduated a few months prior. This is our community, but we never imagined we’d receive as much help as we did.
Teachers who taught me and students I teach lined up at the door asking, “How can I help?” At one point, we had so many helpers we sent some to our neighbors. Our street was packed with people who wanted to help. People donated water, food, and even gift cards.
I found myself overwhelmed and grateful to those who helped us. This is definitely the hardest obstacle I’ve ever faced and I’m still working through it. My family and I lost our house, cars, and belongings to Hurricane Harvey. We’ve spent the past two months basically camping in our house, but we’re getting through it. And I am thankful to have a roof over my head.
If anything, Harvey showed us how to fight harder and never give up. There’s a reason why we say “Houston strong.”
MW readers: Thank you for donating and giving back through the blog. Together we can do great things, and we encourage you to think about what giving back means to you.