National Good Neighbor Day on September 28th is time to once again focus on the merits of our neighbor connections! Our lives are much happier and richer walking through life with our connections in our communities. Heartwarming stories of how neighbors reach out and offer love, support, and help during times of crises are everywhere. We all know that sooner or later curveballs in life find us. Having neighbors who show compassion and reach out to make a difference is often what gets us through those days of disaster and struggle.
In 2017, Hurricane Harvey had a bull’s eye on my hometown, Houston, Texas. This horrific Cat 4 storm made landfall in Texas near Port Aransas and continued on a track towards Houston, where it dropped 50 inches of rain before continuing on east to Louisiana. Our daughter and her husband had just purchased and moved into their first home in the western area of Houston called Memorial. They evacuated with their dog as the waters quickly started to enter their home. Sadly, our daughter’s home was impacted by 4 feet of flood waters. A few days later some wonderful Good Samaritans from Indiana loaded up their boat and drove to Houston to help. They arrived in our daughter’s neighborhood to help people get their salvageable possessions out of their flooded homes. What a gift that was for these victims of one of Houston’s worst hurricanes on record!
Within days my neighbors called me to ask about my daughter’s home and how they could help. My neighbors formed a team to wash items recovered in her house. This gesture from our neighbors, who did not know my daughter, but heard about her losing her home in the flood waters, was heartwarming. In the midst of loss and sadness came so much kindness, support and love. My daughter and her husband were greatly touched by these selfless acts from our neighbors and we will never forget how they embraced us and our tragedy!
As we pause and reflect on the blessing of neighborhood connections, let’s celebrate the people who have been there for us during some of life’s darkest hours. Thank you to all of the people who were there for us in Houston in 2017 during one of the most destructive hurricanes in recent history! The floods may have washed away our homes, but nothing will ever wash away the spirit of neighborhood kindness, love, and service that comes alive during hardship!