Helping After Hurricane Harvey
I timed my arrival, just as the Texan football fans were exiting the the stadium's numerous lots. I reminded myself that standstill, football traffic, was a lot better than the horrible evacuation traffic 2 weeks earlier.
The huge shelter space seemed impressive compared to what I recalled from the Astrodome, when it held thousands of Katrina evacuees. But it still felt intimidating, as I headed for one of the 3 shelter areas, to volunteer.
Spreading the Quilt
Puppets, Songs and Crayons
One boy asked if his dinosaur could dance with the puppet. Two toddlers with pacifiers sang the ABC's for me. Even a couple moms came and joined in with the crayons and paper and thanked me for coming.
No child or mother shared a story or worry with me. I had no idea what their recent days had been like. I don't know where they came from. But I was glad to see there could still be smiles and a little laughter.
I stayed until it was dinner time. I was tempted to linger, so I could see how they served food to so many. I was tempted to wander over to the pet area and figure out how that worked. But I already felt out of place, with a few eyes looking towards the woman with carrying a quilt and bag. Even a guard laughed after studying me and said, "Volunteer?" I was sort of glad no one knew for sure.
I got in my car feeling lucky, that I was headed home to my undamaged house. I couldn't help feeling a little guilty, too.
For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.