It is time for Humble and Lake Houston to pay it forward. The city of Humble has organized a Hurricane Ida Relief Fund to assist Golden Meadow – a three-square-mile village in Lafourche Parish almost directly south of New Orleans and located practically in the Gulf of Mexico.
Little remains unscathed in Golden Meadow, according to media reports, after Hurricane Ida blew through the town Aug. 31. Houses no longer have roofs. Mobile homes are turned on their sides if not ripped up. Electrical power lines are down everywhere.
Ida is the second most damaging and intense hurricane to strike Louisiana, just behind Hurricane Katrina.
The city of Humble is requesting Humble and Lake Houston residents bring items to a donation drop off at the Humble Civic Center parking lot on Friday, Sept. 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 18, 8 a.m. to noon.
Needed are: batteries (all sizes but especially AA and AAA); tarps; extension cords; cleaners/bleach; cleaning supplies; plastic storage containers; gas cans; and box fans.
Items not needed: no clothes; no furniture; no mattresses; and no food or water.
Financial donations can be made through the HAAM website donation link, haamministries.org. Designate the donation for Hurricane Ida Relief.
The devastation and the devastation caused to Louisiana signal that it is payback time for Humble and Lake Houston – in a positive way.
“When Harvey slammed us, help came from everywhere,” recalled Jennifer Wooden, director of the Humble Civic Center which became “ground zero” for Lake Houston’s rescue and relief efforts. “We opened the civic center and, within an hour, one meeting room was filled with supplies.”
Within a couple hours, the center was full – of supplies and evacuees.
“We had almost as many volunteers as evacuees. It was beautiful to see everyone come together, and now we want to do that for our friends in Louisiana,” said Wooden.
During Harvey, Humble City Manager Jason Stuebe had gathered key city officials including department heads and first responders as well as essential community leaders to assist in the recovery effort.
He assembled that same team to respond to Hurricane Ida.
“I certainly feel that we have that skill set and are ready to respond to the devastation that our Louisiana friends are facing,” said Carole Brady who was executive director of Family Promise, a not-for-profit that addresses homelessness, when she joined Stuebe’s Hurricane Harvey team.
“Our role in Harvey was to disseminate assistance where there was the greatest need,” said Brady.
Now, as executive director of HomeAid Houston, the official charity of the Greater Houston Builders Association, Brady has joined with Stuebe, Wooden, Millie Garrison, who is executive director of Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and United City Church of Humble to establish Hurricane Ida Relief.
Brady is reaching out to builders and suppliers to assist in purchasing items.
“Our builders and suppliers are very generous. They will pay it forward,” she said.
“We have been so blessed not to be hit with a major hurricane recently but, when we were, our Louisiana friends and, in fact, communities and organizations from everywhere came to our assistance,” said Brady. “Now it is our turn.”
Humble Mayor Norman Funderburk knows how devastating hurricanes are to Golden Meadow. The Funderburk family was living in Golden Meadow when Hurricane Betsy devastated the town in 1965.
“Before we settled in Humble, we lived for 18 months in Golden Meadow where my dad worked in oil and gas for Gulf Oil,” the mayor recalled. “I attended 7th and 8th grades there and I can recall Hurricane Betsy, much like Ida, coming right through Golden Meadow. That was my first real experience in a devastating hurricane.”
Funderburk also recalled two weeks without power. The roof ripped off the school. Devastation everywhere.
“I just felt, after Ida and Golden Meadow once again being torn up, well, this was a time when we can help our neighbors who have such needs,” said Funderburk.
Funderburk and Humble residents are particularly interested in “paying it forward” because they were the recipients of the generosity and kindness of a similar city and circumstance during Hurricane Harvey.
Former Humble Mayor Merle Aaron received a message from the mayor of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, who had seen the devastation Humble received from Harvey and wanted to help. Cuyahoga Falls residents packed two trucks with bleach, blankets, mops, all the essential items needed after a hurricane, and drove them from Ohio to Humble. The Cuyahoga Falls mayor even came to Humble to help clean up.
“It is time for us to pay it forward to Mayor Joey Bouziga and the citizens of Golden Meadow,” said Funderburk.
When the truck – or trucks – are filled with the generosity and kindness of the citizens of Humble and Lake Houston, former Golden Meadows resident and now Funderburk will be riding shotgun Sunday, Sept. 19, as he told The Tribune, “To pay it forward to our Golden Meadow neighbors.”
The Hurricane Ida Relief Fund is sponsored by the City of Humble, Humble Area Assistance Ministries, United City Church of Humble, and HomeAid Houston. The Tribune is providing media assistance. For more information, contact the Humble City Center, 281-446-4140.