Nearly four months after Hurricane Harvey’s sweep through Houston, some in our area are still struggling to pick up the pieces – so the Heights Rotary Club and a local non-profit sprang into action to help local families along in the process.
Over the last month, our local rotary club, in conjunction with a Colorado rotary club and social service non-profit Family Houston, raised $7,000 that was subsequently gifted to seven Heights-area families ($1,000 per family) who were flooded by the storm. Several Rotarians and Family Houston representatives were on hand at Family Houston’s headquarters near Washington Avenue and North Shepherd Drive to witness the act that melds perfectly into the giving spirit of the Christmas holidays.
“They didn’t even know they were going to get this money until a week ago,” Heights Rotary Club President Stephen Monsen said. “It’s been a slow process, because we didn’t want to promise anything to anybody until we saw the funds; but last week we finally got to the magic number of $4,000 and contacted those families.”
Monsen said in addition to the Heights Rotary Club’s fundraising, the Grand Canyon Rotary Club in Colorado – who incidentally, has a member who grew up in the Heights – provided the additional $3,000.
“These were families that are still out of their houses and trying to get things done, and Family Houston found them – they’ve just got their fingers in different areas of Houston and they know who needs help here,” he said. [Those families] got that phone call saying somebody they’ve never heard of was going to give them $1,000 and were probably tickled pink.”
Family Houston’s mission is to create a stronger community by helping individuals and families meet the challenges they face.
Through a variety programs and services, they strive to be Houston’s premier resource that uses a holistic approach to help people empower themselves, stabilize their lives, and sustain lasting improvement – making the collaborative effort a perfect fit.
“It’s an honor to have the community support to help our families that are in such need,” said Charly Weldon, Family Houston’s president and CEO. “Knowing how much our community is struggling to bring some normalcy back into their daily schedule, especially around the holidays, it’s so amazing to see the smiles on their faces and know we can make even a little bit of an impact this time of year.”
Monsen’s earlier statement rang true Tuesday morning as five of the families gathered to commemorate the occasion and the spirit of the organizations shined bright for all to see. Monsen knows those families are not the only ones in crisis.
“Serving people is what Rotary is all about, and if we could’ve helped every family in the Heights area that flooded, we would have – we’re just trying to do what we can with what we’ve got,” he said.