In late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey pummeled Houston and the Texas coast with more than fifty inches of rain. The unprecedented rainfall resulted in more than 122,000 water rescues and evacuations. It is estimated that Hurricane Harvey caused more than $125 billion in property damages and took the lives of 88 people. In all, over 632,000 Houstonians registered with FEMA and more than 100,000 families had their homes flooded as a direct result of the storm. We were one of those families.
When the rain finally subsided, the extent of the devastation became evident. Over 8 million cubic yards of debris lined our streets and parts of Houston would remain under water for weeks. Our beloved city was devastated… but her spirit never waivered. Within hours, friends, neighbors and people we didn’t even know showed up to help. We never called and we never asked. They just came… and we were forever grateful. This scene repeated itself all over the city and Houston’s community response became the talk of local and national media.
Even with all of the help, we realized that our recovery would be a long journey. Highways remained impassable, the city’s infrastructure was badly damaged and over one million flooded cars had to be removed from our streets and parking lots. In addition, we now had to retain contractors to fix our home and find the strength to begin piecing our lives back to together. Late one night, shortly after the flood, as I laid awake trying to process the massive task that lay before us, we found our inspiration. A friend had shared a Facebook photo of children in Uganda praying for Texas. The children belonged to the Good Care Children Ministry and Orphanage in Mityana, Uganda. We later learned that the photo had been shared almost 200,000 times and liked nearly 35,000 times. The post had not only inspired us, but tens of thousands of other people as well. From that moment on, whenever we were having a particularly challenging day, we would refer back to the screen shot of the children praying.
About seven months after Hurricane Harvey, as our recovery journey progressed, we began wondering if the viral post had helped the children in the iconic photo. We contacted Timothy Serruga, the orphanage director, and learned that their 46 children still walked two miles to a clean water source and also needed donations for food, clothes and school supplies. We quickly realized that the challenges we faced were quite small in comparison to those many children in Uganda face everyday.
In April, 2018 we formed Houganda as a Texas based nonprofit corporation. The goal of Houganda is to help the people of Uganda and other African countries through the Good Card Children’s Ministry (Reg#80020000047040), Mityana Charity (CFC#11638) and other existing aid for Africa organizations. If you can, please help our cause. We utilize a PCI compliant donation process that is fast, simple and secure. Every dollar helps! Thank you!