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Hurricane Harvey through the Eyes of Rescue Rebuild

By Chris Coulter, Rescue Rebuild Program Manager

As you turn on your TV or open your daily newspaper, you can’t help hearing about the hurricane that is currently devastating Texas. Hurricane Harvey has displaced tens of thousands of people and their pets, and the rain, over 50 inches in some areas, has prompted over 17,000 rescues.

The stories of heroism have been many. People with boats from all over the country coming down to help search for people and pets, temporary shelters set up to house those displaced, relief efforts, donations flooding in (no pun intended) just to name a few. People all coming together with one common purpose and goal—helping EVERYONE in need.

I witnessed one such act of heroism firsthand this past week even while being completely dry in my landlocked state of Oklahoma. Being only three months into my new job with Rescue Rebuild, I’m still learning how our parent organization GreaterGood.org works. I had always assumed GreaterGood.org was this huge organization consisting of hundreds of employees because of how much good they are able to do all over the world.

So, when I heard our disaster relief effort was going to be an “all-hands-on-deck” response, I was expecting our daily video conference call to be packed with employees. I was a little confused when there were about 25 employees on the call. How can this be?! I’m getting daily updates on how we’re giving out hundreds of thousands of dollars a day to those in need, truckloads of dog and cat food, vaccines by the pallet, coordinating funding to the mega-shelters for people and their pets, small shelters that have been damaged, large shelters that are taking in animals to make room for displaced pets until they can be reunited with their families, coordinating flights to get animals out of shelters to make room for the incoming pets, funding mobile veterinary care, mobile hospitals for people, providing books for the kids at the shelters and so much more.

This small group of extremely dedicated and motivated people has been working around the clock. My phone is constantly going off at all hours of the night alerting me to new emails. Several people volunteered to not go on their vacation to help out. I had to take a step back just to process and appreciate how hard everyone has been working and how much of their own life they are giving up helping all those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

I have learned so much this past week. I’ve not only learned how truly blessed I am to be working for such a great organization that isn’t afraid to put their own lives on hold to help others but also just how much good you can do with a limited amount of people and resources.

In order to do good in this life, it doesn’t matter what you have but how hard you’re willing to work at it and how much you’re willing to sacrifice to help those in need.

YOU were there for animals affected by Harvey. Now we need you for animals displaced by Maria and Irma. They need you. Please click here to donate.