DICKINSON, Texas (WSVN) — Two South Florida families drove more than 1,200 miles to lend a helping hand to those affected in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, going from nonprofit to nonprofit and from home to home.
After 26 hours on the road, the Molina and Buckley families arrived in Houston on Saturday to open their hearts to the people affected by the massive storm, and they brought with them donations from back home.
“Everyone in South Florida, they brought the bags and the diapers and the money,” said Albert Molina.
“Thank you, Miami. We love Miami,” said one of the volunteers who helped unload supplies from the Molinas’ 53-foot tractor trailer.
Their first stop, Saturday afternoon, was at a distribution at the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston.
Volunteer after volunteer created an assembly line.
“I wish every single one of the [South Florida donors] was right here, right now to see this, that it was all worthwhile,” said Molina.
The display of generosity was overwhelming for those waiting in long lines, as they held on to hope to recover what Harvey took from them.
“It devastated us. We lost a lot of stuff. I’m with my kids right now,” said Houston resident Henry Melendez.
“I’m just proud of everybody, the humanity,” said Sarah, a volunteer.
“You guys have delivered. Thank you so much,” said a male volunteer as he held back tears.
The Broward County residents’ next stop was Adore Ministries at St. Albert’s of Trapani Church, a Houston-based nonprofit and a church where flood victims themselves, children, even the U.S. military were among those who spent the day coming together to help unload supplies.
“To drive from Florida with an RV and your whole family, just because a city gets demolished, I don’t know. I’m just speechless,” said Houston resident Emily Blasdell.
The demand for essentials was still so great that the families decided to stop at a local Costco to restock.
They then headed to another house of worship, the Shrine of the True Cross in Dickinson.
The supplies were a most welcome blessing for the pastor, who was overcome with emotion. “It means so much that people care, and the people here have been hit so hard,” said the Rev. Larry Wilson.
The reality of the devastation became heavy as the visiting families drove through the neighborhoods. 7News cameras captured front lawns in Dickinson filled with trash and debris.
“We have to thank God the material goes back and forth,” said one family member.
Home after home was ravaged by the floods.
“We’ve been living for the last three or four days in a hotel up in Webster,” said Dickinson resident Mitch Eddy, who lost his home in the floods. “Actually, it’s a motel, you know.”
For the Molinas and the Buckleys, this was a journey to spread hope and help. They said it was worth every minute and mile.
“One gentleman came up to me and he said, ‘You know, we’re from Texas, and we’re strong. I was so strong, until I saw you guys pull up in your RV, and I just broke down,'” said Molina.
As they continue to travel across Texas, the Molinas are still accepting donations. For information on how to help, click here.
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