In what has to be one of the more troubling stories out of Texas, where Harvey has caused havoc , is about a woman who had 400 hot hamburgers flown into the airport in Nederland, Texas where evacuees were congregated. She had the burgers flown in with a pilot who donated his time and covered all of his expenses to make the flight.
The woman, wrote a Facebook rant about her experience:
My sister says I can use her FB page to get something off my chest if I identify myself lol. This is Lindsey Scott, and I’m astonished at the behavior of the Red Cross husband/wife team at the mid-county Jack Brooks airport yesterday. Who together accosted me and took turns berating me because I was trying to bring 400 warm hamburgers to our hungry evacuees, who according to them did not need the food because they had “already had a sandwhich.” Yes, they had 1 sandwhich in 24 hours. They were desperate for a hot meal! The Red Cross proceeded to try and load the warm, ready to eat burgers into an ice chest. The pilot, who had donated his time, fuel, money, plane and arranged the delivery of the burgers was horrified at not being able to serve them (he actually came to volunteer as well). I confess I just stood there with my mouth gaping open, fighting back tears while they told me that I did not know what I was doing and they had not even seen me volunteering. This is not a normal reaction for me but either exhaustion or pregnancy hormones got the best of me because I simply couldn’t find the words to fight back…
The Red Cross was not there at 6:30 am when we got there to find we had no food to serve the 100s of evacuees who had sat on a bus all night and some who had not eaten in 24 hours. They were not there when the sun came up and they woke up hungry, angry, tired, scared, and frustrated. They did not see them fighting over donuts that OUR friends and family answered the call to bring at 7:00 am. They did not see the tears over dehydrated babies while we worked to arrange the delivery of pedialite and formula. They showed up HOURS later….when we had already coordinated the delivery of food and supplies with our LOCAL community members (who came out in droves) and The Sky Hope Network through our wonderful State Representative Dade Phelan after just a single phone call. And the reason they didn’t see me (sweating and sunburned) is because I spent most of the day on the aviation side of the airport on the tarmac coordinating the landing, unloading, and transport of supplies the Sky Hope Network was flying in all day. (which was no easy feat considering the insane, chaotic state of the Jerry Ware terminal). I do not care they weren’t there (I understand the vast, severe, damage that ranges from Corpus, Rockport, Houston all the way to Louisiana). I do, however, care how they treated the people of our community when they arrived!
These supplies/donations were made by OUR LOCAL community members and the Sky Hope Network (not the Red Cross) and the Red Cross wanted them all shipped to their warehouse for processing and distribution. Apparently they don’t do “local distribution.” Say what?! We need these things here, locally, NOW. And while we refused to turn away anyone who came on foot or by other means (evacuee or not) or any other church, group, or organization asking for supplies…the Red Cross tried to prevent us from sharing OUR donations (contributed by our community for our community and surrounding areas). The kids that are barefoot need shoes NOW, not two weeks from now…and we had more than enough to share.
And the way, these two representatives of Red Cross treated local people who were donating their time (many in the wake of having lost everything of their own) and spending countless hours away from their kids and families in the wake of such tragedy hurts my heart. I pray this is not representative of the Red Cross organization as a whole. People who donate their money would be horrified. I’m thankful for our local volunteers who continued to fight with them (when I could not) and saw that the burgers and supplies were distributed to ALL those that needed them. As, OUR motto was, we turn no one away.
One thing I learned from this is THANK GOD I’m from TEXAS. Our men may spit, smoke, dip, cuss, and drink from time to time…but when the shit hits the fan, our husbands, brothers, dads, uncles, cousins, sons, and all the other men we know put on their boots, waders and get their boats and trucks and go to work! They aren’t afraid to get dirty or work long hours in the dark. They aren’t afraid of a little water, or snakes, or dogs that aren’t kenneled. They are strong enough to carry you out of your home and they can deal with being hungry, wet, cold, and tired (they deal with this sitting in deer and duck blinds half the year). They have the know how to save your animals (horses, cows, etc) and they WON’T QUIT until the work is done. And our community will answer the call to donate, collect and distribute supplies and food wherever it’s needed. I won’t be waiting on the Red Cross.