A hot summer day in Texas. A brightly colored truck rolls down a back road outside of Sealy, TX, its loudspeaker announcing cold treats to offer relief from the heat. The neighborhood children run to the roadside to greet the truck with eager smiles. Usually, a common sight in the summer, but not today.
This isn’t the local ice cream truck; it’s a Red Cross mobile feeding unit, delivering cold water, snacks and meals. And these children aren’t idly playing summer games. They’re watching and helping as their families and friends tear out walls and sort through piles of debris to see if they can salvage any of their belongings after devastating floods swept through their homes in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
This scene is being repeated throughout south Texas as the flood waters recede and communities begin the long, hard recovery process. As families are able to return to their homes, the Red Cross is right there with them. We’re providing meals to families who don’t have the time or resources to make meals for themselves, cold water for relief from the heat and items they need to start cleaning up their homes. For those whose homes didn’t survive, we’re providing safe shelter, one-on-one help in navigating the recovery process and connections to the many resources that are here to help.
But for these children, today, the Red Cross is simply a cold drink, a good meal and an impromptu picnic in their yard. For maybe the first time since the storm began, they can smile and act like kids for a few minutes, before they rejoin their parents in picking up the pieces and moving forward.