Catching up with Hurricane Harvey evacuee who took donations back to the coast

Posted at 3:48 PM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2018-06-19 15:01:07-04

Hurricane Harvey devastated much of Texas with wind and flooding rain. After that devastation came help from some of the most unlikely sources.

Central Texas News Now caught up with some of them, one who was an evacuee you might remember.

It's back to normal for Donna Cowan at her coffee shop, Anchored in Love, in Port Lavaca.

"You have to go back to normal. Life has to go back to some schedule and system because you can't live in chaos forever," Cowan said.

That chaos only ended for Cowan two weeks ago.

"I was busy with the distribution center that came about because of so many donations from Salado," Cowan said.

You might remember when Central Texas News Now brought you her story right after Harvey made landfall on Aug. 25.

We met her in Salado where she had evacuated to from Port Lavaca.

"We were just enjoying the area and going to the parks and I just felt really, almost like guilt. It just didn't feel right to me that I had these pleasures when I knew people at home were suffering," Cowan said.

That's why she made a call to start collecting donations, and that call was definitely answered.

"We were going to come back on Tuesday but we were delayed because of the generosity of Salado and all the surrounding areas. I had to find a trailer and truck to take the supplies home because we did not have enough room," Cowan said.

Once back on the coast, Cowan said she got to work distributing the donations.

"So when I got back Wednesday evening, I just let people know that hey I'm sitting out in front of my church. It's dark out here, very dark out here but if you have children and you need milk, come and see me and we'll give you milk," Cowan said.

People like Cowan, and the supplies she collected, made places like the Aransas County Harvey Donation Center in Rockport, possible.

"We get tons of individuals. Just yesterday we had seven individual deliveries come in just with their car, a little truck, a trailer," Montgomery said.

Amy Montgomery said she has been leading the center pretty much since the storm, collecting and giving out supplies right next door to a Disaster Recovery Center

"It is a very good combination of having donations right here and us giving them suggestions on how to go get their SB loan, get with HUD, get with FEMA do all of the things they should be doing to get them the help they deserve," Montgomery said.

Even though fewer people are lining up for help as the days go by, Montgomery said they will still need more.

"You know we're kind of out of that relief stage so we're in the recovery phase where we gotta get people back in their homes, get it cleaned up, rebuilt or even take it completely down," Montgomery said.

Now that they have enough food, water, diapers, clothes, Montgomery said what they really need are cleaning supplies, yard equipment and manpower. So your volunteer help could really make a difference.

Montgomery added that you cannot just walk up and get supplies at her donation center. You first have to sign up with FEMA, then show your ID.

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