Tragedies occur every day. Whether they be man-made tragedies like what happened September 11, 2001 or whether they be nature-made tragedies like what happened in the summer of 2005 with Hurricane Katrina, there is one unifying element: a great sadness at what has happened.
Many lives were lost in both of these events, but through sadness came a positive response. People rose above and reached out to help. There was a unity this nation doesn’t see unless great tragedy strikes. Race, religion, politics, economic situations, sexual orientation, etc. doesn’t matter in the face of such tragedies.
Last year’s Memorial Weekend Flood may not have been such a large-scale tragedy as Katrina or 9/11, but it still brought a great sadness to Hays County. 11 people lost their lives, including children, when the water rose swiftly. Over 300 homes were destroyed and people either had to rebuild or leave the area they had called home for years. Hays County was hit with grief.
Then the crowds of generous people came. People from all over showed up to help out in whatever ways needed. First responders performed search and rescues where they could and other volunteers helped with cleaning up debris, moving people out who were unable to stay in their homes, and helping to fulfill other basic needs of those affected by the floods. Everywhere you looked, people were giving generously of themselves to help a county shaken by natural disaster. There was a strong sense of unity.
The response to a disaster is overwhelming; people want to help out. The human heart may only be the size of a fist, but its capacity to care is so much bigger. Strangers will help strangers, differences are set aside for a little while, and we all become brothers and sisters in one united cause.
It should always be this way, however. Did you know that there are people starving every single day; people right here in Hays County. Over 25,000 individuals in Hays County are classified as food insecure, meaning they may not know how or when they will get their next meal. People who have jobs but still cannot make ends meet and must choose between electricity and food for their family. Elderly on a fixed income that does not cover all the costs they need to survive. People with disabilities who are unable to work and SNAP doesn’t provide enough assistance for.
The Hays County Food Bank will be here for those who need food assistance, but we need the community’s continued support in order to do so. We thank everyone for all they have done, but in order to keep feeding the hungry in Hays County, we need a steady supply of funds, food, and volunteers. Consider becoming a monthly donor, and help spread the love all year long. Set up a food collection box at your office and bring in the donations every other month. Grab a group of friends and set a couple volunteer dates every month. Don’t just wait until disaster strikes or it’s the holiday season. Hunger knows no season, and there are always people in need who rely on us for their next meal.