By: Kara Haselton
In case you’ve been living under a rock, a devastating hurricane took Texas — specifically Houston and surrounding areas — by storm. As the water started to rise and homes from every socioeconomic level were affected, some people started to panic, but others were spurred into action.
A number of heartwarming stories have been released and told through various news sites. A group of teenagers noticed that their truck was completely underwater, and their suffering showed them that other people must be in need as well. They got a boat and a paddle board and navigated their way through affected neighborhoods. According to The Daily Wire, these four teenagers saved over 50 people!
One older couple was stuck in their home and didn’t know what to do, so they called their local Chick-Fil-A. They ordered their typical breakfast meal and a boat, asking for help. The store manager was able to pull through and jet ski the couple out of their own home! This iconic photo, courtesy of CNN, made its way around the internet, affirming people’s good faith in Chick-Fil-A’s service.
People were risking their lives to go out in search of those in need, but others were putting their business and profits on the line for the sake of humanity. Jim McIngvale, fondly known as “Mattress Mack,” owns a mattress store that he opened up as a place of refuge for those who are seeking shelter and safety. In light of Mattress Mack’s kind and selfless act, ABC News reports that people have even started a petition for an official “Mattress Mack Day” in Houston.
People are not the only ones affected by the intense floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey–animals are, too. But not just dogs and cats. Cows and horses are having to be saved from death by drowning. The New York Times has posted several videos of these important rescues. Police officers in cars and on horseback herded cows to safer, higher ground. Another story was told of two cowboys riding horseback, working to release a horse trapped in a over flooded corral. They succeeded in getting the horse to safety!
Even news reporters have stopped doing their job in order to assist others they saw in need. In several instances, reporters that were updating networks on the disaster in Texas would witness a man in a truck being engulfed with water or hear cries for help coming out of houses, and they would stop–on live TV–and help those people. One reporter ran after a rescue truck hauling a boat to inform them about a man in a semi-truck stuck under 10 feet of water. Another man put his mic down to help hoist an elderly man and his wife onto their boat they were using to look at all the damage. Yet another reporter witnessed as a man driving down the street lost control as his truck hit a ravine and rushed to get him out of his vehicle before it was lost to the water. These are incredible circumstances of people stopping their job to save the lives of people who desperately need it.
A number of news sources — such as USA Today, IndyStar, The New York Times, CNN, and more — have commented on how even in the midst of this horrible tragedy, people’s good intentions and kindness have shown that they really do care about each other. USA Today featured an article written by Alcestis Cooky Oberg, a resident of Dickinson, TX, in which he talked about his experience seeing people do good towards their neighbors. He recounts an interview he witnessed where a man was asked why he was risking his life for others. Oberg said, “His sentiment was the same as I heard from many others: We’re Americans. This is what Americans do. This is what Americans are.”
In a time in America where we are constantly bombarded with news of racism, rioting, violence, hatred, and even hurricanes like Harvey and Irma, it’s important to remember that good can come–and has been coming–out of the very same situations. It’s encouraging, in a way, to see that a disaster as horrible as Harvey can bring unity. People are helping each other regardless of race, gender, age, and religion. 17-year-olds are helping 50-year-olds, news reporters are helping civilians, black people are helping white people. If being American means helping your neighbor despite differences, we all should act like Americans more often.