Shortly after Hurricane Harvey devastated Rockport, Texas, and the surrounding communities, J.P. and Samantha McCrary opened their Rockport property to those in need. After evacuating and discovering that though Samantha’s business had been completely destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, their ho... Read More
Shortly after Hurricane Harvey devastated Rockport, Texas, and the surrounding communities, J.P. and Samantha McCrary opened their Rockport property to those in need. After evacuating and discovering that though Samantha’s business had been completely destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, their house was still standing. Samantha and her daughters then began the process of gathering much-needed donations of supplies, such as bottled water, canned goods, cleaning supplies, tents, tools, trash bags, tarps, etc. Meanwhile JP, their sons and a few friends were cleaning up debris to be able to get onto their property. Donations and volunteers came from around the country to help out.
All of the funds raised and donations that were given were from individuals, church groups and private organizations without any assistance from FEMA. And now, nearly a year after the hurricane, they are still collecting and handing out some supplies and building materials to help those affected by the storm. The original plan was just to feed people for a couple of weeks and help out with a few supplies. However, donations have decreased and are still needed.
Samantha set up her big pots and burners and started cooking!
September of 2017:
During this month, the camp provided approximately 1,000 meals every day starting with breakfast through dinner. Donors contributed large amounts of meats, hamburger buns, vegetables, beans, rice, and a refrigerated truck for storing those products.
Many of the supplies that were distributed to the community included diapers and formula, hygiene products, bleach and other cleaning supplies, clothing, dog and cat food, and medical supplies. Also provided were tarps for leaking roofs, tents, cots and bedding. Two RVs came in as donations and renovations were started so that those who lost their homes would no longer be homeless!
We had a wedding for two of our volunteers who thought they weren't going to have a ceremony when Harvey destroyed their home, the bride’s place of employment, and their wedding venue.
In October, the collection and distribution of supplies continued and meals were still being served, as schools began to re-open. The camp collected much-needed school supplies including hundreds of backpacks filled with the things the children would be required to have in class, and three families moved into donated RVs. As Halloween approached, the camp organized activities for children to enjoy. In addition to giving out candy, there was a pumpkin-carving contest, costume contest and live music. We also helped with prescriptions, work boots, and new clothing.
In November, the camp was still providing supplies (at that point more than $300,000 in supplies had passed through the Camp) and meals and as Thanksgiving approached. The camp collected and distributed all of the food items needed for a dinner except a turkey. However on Thanksgiving Day, many donations from churches and others, the camp provided a dinner with ham, turkey and all the trimmings free of charge to anyone who was still in need.
The camp had begun a Christmas drive to collect decorations, trees, and Christmas presents and large food boxes that included $25 or $50 HEB gift cards that helped more than 500 families. The camp continuied to cook and serve meals to the community. Meals ended just before Christmas, but the distributions of pantry items, paper goods, cleaning supplies, diapers and formula continued for an additional seven months.
January 2018 thru present:
We continued to distribute pantry items, cleaning supplies, diapers, wipes and formula, and helped more families with building materials and furniture, and lots of beds!! As things got better for many, we had a brand new problem. All of the affordable housing in the area was destroyed by the storm, and rebuilding was not a priority. As service industry workers began to return to the area, they faced the crisis of not being able to find a place where they could afford to live, plus, the fact, that landlords saw an opportunity to remodel and lease to a different socioeconomic group. So, even though both parents in a family were working full-time, they just could not make ends meet. Homeowners faced many of the same issues. They could make the payments and mostly cover the increased utilities, but that left no money for materials or day-to-day items, like paper goods. That is why we continued distribution of supplies for as long as we did.
In order to provide relief from having to spend what little funds families with school-age children had, the organization is again partnering with a local church to collect and distribute school supplies for the upcoming school year. In addition, funds are being collected to provide a new pair of shoes for each school-age child in the distric. The camp is concentrating on finding solutions to the housing needs of the workforce and, in mid-September, will begin raising money to provide needy families with Christmas presents. Many families are doing all they can to get back on their feet, but due to a much higher cost of living and loss of affordable housing are still struggling.
We have been providing aide to special cases that have popped up and we have done what we could to help them. We have bought fans and heaters, car seats, bedding, and more than a few interview outfits, as well as a prom dress and a suit for a young man to wear to be a pall bearer in his grandfather’s funeral. Little things that add up monetarily, and make big differences in people’s lives.
in order to continue our mission, we need your help!? Christmas is approaching and many families still don't even have their roofs repaired.
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Rockport Relief Camp
Samantha lost her business to Hurricane Harvey, but upon discovering that her home had been spared, she and her family decided to us it and all that could be salvaged from her catering company to feed the residents of the area.
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