Our lifestyle manager, Page Austin, shares the powerful stories of how our Harvest community came together to support one another during February's snowstorm.
Texas weather is something we all talk about and even joke about. We are used to having all four seasons in a week…sometimes in one day! But nothing could have prepared us for the severe winter storm we all just experienced. However, it’s in dark moments that our light shines bright.
Harvest is a community that does life together. I know, I say that a lot but it’s true. We are wired to live in community with others. I believe community is as natural, and almost as essential, as breathing. Community provides support in the ups and downs of life. We see examples of this all the time, but especially during the hard times. Stories from neighbors are pouring in about how their neighbors stepped up to help with frozen pipes, shovel snow, and grocery store runs. Neighbors helping neighbors. That is the heart of our community.
Lynsey said that “I have never lived somewhere with such a strong community. Ever. People are doing grocery runs for people, offering to go get spout covers, sharing extra supplies for free, cleaning out closets of old clothes and toys for emergency child foster situations, donating food and money for the tragic deaths we’ve had, opening their doors for warmth and a place to stay, and gathering items to take to the animal shelter down the road. This is pretty special. Just people helping people and happy to do it, whether they know them well or not.”
Amber posted for help on the residents Facebook page after her water heater busted and she had multiple offers for help. Before she could even respond to comments, a neighbor was knocking on her door with a floor fan in hand. Two more neighbors showed up with a dehumidifier and an additional fan.
Taylor and her husband went out of town before the storm to get married. Their next-door neighbor, Cassie and Brandon, offered to get their mail and packages while they were away. When the storm hit Cassie came over to open cabinet doors and drip the faucets. Some of them were already frozen so Brandon went out to get supplies for more insulation. He even put a space heater in the attic to thaw everything. Cassie and Brandon spent hours unfreezing their pipes and continually checking on their home to ensure everything was in working order.
Tonya was woken up at 2:30 am by a phone call from her neighbor informing her that the power was out and that it would affect her new pool. Her neighbor, Matt Suter, came to her house at 2:30 am to check on everything. She had a pipe burst but Matt still worked on her pool turning off her pumps and breaking up the ice. She was so grateful to the Suter family for their kindness.
I love what Larry Patch said, "we are in our 70's and I can honestly say I have never felt more comfortable in my home during a major weather occurrence than I do now. Younger folks surround us on all sides offering to help at any time it's needed, checking in on us, and watching out for possible problems. This care and concern seem to be throughout all areas of Harvest. We moved here from a city where neighbors pretty much kept to themselves. We had bad snowstorms of course, but with no family nearby you fended for yourself! A community such as Harvest has certainly restored my faith in mankind."
While that week was hard on everyone, it was especially hard for neighbors who have already been weathering the storms of life. Harvest has tragically lost several residents over the last few weeks. It’s been really hard for our community. Recently, we lost Tiffany Gerred in the icy catastrophic accident on I35. Harvest neighbors throughout the entire community made sure the Gerred family were stocked up on groceries for the freeze, made sure the family’s home had wrapped faucets, cooked meals, salted their porch and shoveled their driveway. The Gerred family didn’t have the mental capacity in their devastation to wrap their minds around prepping their home or stocking their pantry. This is the heart of our community.
I could go on and on with stories of neighbors helping neighbors.
We know there is no such thing as a perfect community. Harvest is not all rainbows and unicorns because that is not real life. However, despite our imperfections, we are a flourishing community that pushes aside our differences and stands by each other and supports one another. That is our heart. That is what makes #harvestbettertogether.