Image: A group of unnamed volunteers, several of whom are flooding victims themselves, delivered food and supplies to Patton Village, throughout the day on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.
Montgomery County, August 30 – While many of the elected politicians focused on taking selfies and videos of themselves during the Tropical Storm Harvey crisis, there were many other people who stood out as the leaders of the community of Montgomery County. Those leaders are the regular people who live in this great place and who care deeply about each other.
To be fair, some of the elected politicians actually did fine work. There’s no doubt that Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack truly stood out. He did precisely the job we elected him to do. Almost non-stop, Noack coordinated rescue efforts, participated in some rescues directly, and, perhaps most importantly, continued to provide a constant flow of information to the citizens of Precinct 3 about flooding, weather, road closings, and potential dangers during the Harvey catastrophe. In reality, Noack probably saved or improved countless lives throughout the four day crisis.
Similarly, certain other government leaders also did fine work. In Precinct 4, East Montgomery County, which took the greatest battering of all areas in this community, two government leaders – County Commissioner Jim Clark and Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden – did great work and showed great leadership. Neither of them shied away from coordinating the rescue work of others, providing shelter to displaced residents, finding food and other supplies for evacuated citizens, carrying people to safety, and keeping the public informed.
Noack, Clark, and Hayden largely did their work without cameras, selfies, or self-promotion. Meanwhile, the most political of the politicians seemed to rescue people in a bubbled world where somehow the only people in their photographs and videos were other elected politicians. Were they saving each other?
The real heroes
The real heroes of Tropical Storm Harvey, however, were the people of Montgomery County who don’t hold elected offices, don’t receive government paychecks, and didn’t seek anything other than to help others. Driving around this community over the past four days, there were endless opportunities to help people directly by helping them get to safety and less directly by delivering food, supplies, clothing, beds, and linens to shelters, churches, and damaged homes.
The picture of a group of unnamed citizens delivering food and supplies to Patton Village on August 29, 2017, is only one example of the amazing spirit of this community. Literally, thousands of people were outside helping others over the past four days. No one asked for thanks. No one was seeking votes or publicity.
They only sought the true gift, which we all receive when we show compassion, kindness, and love towards others.