Harvey Moms :: Relief Efforts by Families for Families

Ever since Harvey hit the Houston area, it has been a surreal time in many ways. There is still so much devastation and heartbreak; so many people are still very, very far from returning to their normals, even as much of the area has begun to return to school and work. In the midst of this dichotomy, there are also people who have risen to the occasion in ways that make our hearts swell. The efforts are vast and varied, but the thing they have in common is that they have keyed in on a need {or multiple needs} in their communities and have found ways to meet those needs as our city moves forward. One of these efforts is Harvey Moms, a group of stay at home moms {started by Stephanie Mooring, Katie Rehrer, and Lauren Pearson} who have activated their networks to bring food and happiness to families that have been affected by this historic hurricane. I had a chance to ask them a few questions about how they got started and about how moms with small children at home {something that often makes volunteer work difficult} can mobilize in similar ways to make a difference. 

How did Harvey Moms get started?

So many people experienced flooding in our area, and as stay at home moms, Lauren, Katie, and I wanted to help, but we didn’t know how we could realistically do that. We all have small kids. We knew we would not be ripping up sheet rock or swinging hammers with our babies in tow. But we wanted to help and help effectively in our community.

What is the mission/function of Harvey moms?

Originally, Katie had this idea to make sack lunches for people whose homes flooded in the Friendswood area; whether that meant feeding the volunteers assisting the family, or feeding the homeowner directly. Lauren and I said, “We support you all the way. Let’s roll!” The goal was set at making 100 bags to deliver. Katie thought this was a realistic goal for us as stay at home moms, and we could even involve our kids.

In reality, we have accomplished so much more than we set out to! We could never have imagined our initial plan would have developed in to what Harvey Moms is now. We’ve made well over ONE THOUSAND SACK LUNCHES and raised over $3,000 in the few short weeks following this natural disaster. And that’s not all! We are handing out hot dinners with the help of our network of stay at home moms. I’m personally working on making PB&J lunches for kids staying at a local shelter. With the help of a local businesses, we were able to host a pizza party, complete with decorations. For us, that is what it’s all about — bringing smiles to people’s faces.  If we can make one person forget for a moment that they’ve lost everything due to the flood, then all of our hard work is worth it.

How have you gotten all of this accomplished?

None of this would have been possible without our network of volunteers. We are just a community of moms and their families! You can’t underestimate the power of a Harvey Mom. We wear our hearts on our sleeves, and we want people to know that we are not going anywhere.

What is the future of Harvey Moms?

In the coming weeks, we want people to know we haven’t forgotten them. Many in our community are trying to figure out their new normal. School is back in session and people have to go to work. Our vision for the future is to stay connected on a personal level. Houstonians are strong and we are resilient. We will continue making meals as the need presents itself, and when we are able to do so. A hot meal and a hug to our neighbor is no problem for our network of Harvey Moms!

Our vision is expanding as we move forward. Our mom friends are simply incredible, and they jumped in almost immediately, no questions asked. Many have expressed that they want to be a part of Harvey Moms for the long haul. The ideas weighing on their hearts are important, and I want to bring those ideas to reality. Some of those ideas include buying Halloween costumes for Harvey kids, bringing Thanksgiving dinners to families affected by flooding, and giving Christmas presents to children who’ve lost it all. This is why we need monetary donations. The more resources we have, the more lives we can change.

How can moms in other areas get involved?

It is easy to do. Join our Facebook page. Search @HarveyMoms, click on our logo, and send us a private message. In the headline, write “Attention Harvey Mom Stephanie.” Include your first and last name, phone number, and location. From there, I will call you directly to get you the tools you need to become a Harvey mom. And if this is something you want to do more than once, I will add you to our volunteer list for future opportunities to serve.

We would also like to say thank you to all of our Harvey Moms and families who’ve supported us on this journey. Let’s show Mother Nature that you may knock us down, but a Harvey Mom will get right back up. We love y’all!

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