“We’re all in this together; it really does take a village,” Sheryl Jackson remarked.
She stood in the midst of a community-organized emergency supply distribution in a parking lot near Concord and Lucas Streets in Beaumont, Texas. Beaumont was hit particularly hard by Hurricane Harvey, completely flooding scores of homes.
Geary Senigaur, Jr, also of Beaumont, had been working closely with Jackson prior to Harvey to provide mentoring programs and guidance to their community, particularly the youth. When Harvey hit, Senigaur, Jackson and Jaylen Lewis of UnickEats organized a distribution center where affected residents could come for a quick meal and supplies such as toilet paper, feminine hygiene supplies, diapers, etc. They said networking and communication helped build the success of this community project.
When the American Red Cross was given a donation of flour torillas from Mission Foods, the organization contacted Lewis to partner in feeding his community so the donation would be put to good use.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to partner with the Red Cross and help my own community,” Lewis said. “I’ve been averaging about 200-300 breakfast burritos each day. I couldn’t have done this without the partnership with the Red Cross and the generosity of Mission Foods.”
Lewis and Senigaur have worked together to benefit their community before, so joining efforts again for Harvey relief was a given. “Part of my own mission is to bring services to this community by engaging the youth,” said Senigaur. “This disaster has brought it all together. We are all working together to make this happen.”
Community cooperation didn’t stop there. Lewis also joined forces with April Tolbert of Farmer’s Insurance so she could ferry hot meals into especially hard-hit areas like Bevil Oaks, Pinewood and Countrywood.
“These people lost everything, and this is the very least I can do to help,” explained Tolbert. “I purchase or try to get donated fixings, like the hamburger, and Lewis will cook it up for us. It’s a great partnership and we are all working together, hand in hand, to help our folks.”