A small-business owner and his son visit devastated Rockport, Texas, to provide help after Hurricane Harvey
Many Texans as well as people all over the nation heeded the call when Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas.
When Juan Suarez, owner of Elite Oilfield & Construction Services in McAllen, Texas, learned of the devastation, he wanted to help, too. After all, he was lucky: His business was safe, and the 150 units he had out on a job site in Houston were all recovered safely.
Even though Suarez runs a small business, he felt he could do his part and teach his son some important values as well.
“I did it with the intentions of being a blessing to (flood victims) and for my son to see how he can help,” says Suarez, who has been in the portable sanitation business since 2008, doing water and sewer hookups as well as renting portable restrooms and refuse trailers.
“(My son) felt some of the pain a lot of the people did; it was a learning experience for both of us.”
Rockport, a coastal city of 10,000 located three hours northeast of McAllen, took the brunt of Hurricane Harvey, which shattered and flooded the region. And that’s where Suarez and his 11-year-old son, Ethan, headed over Labor Day weekend.
They knew the city needed help, so they packed up their truck — loaded with a 300-gallon tank of freshwater, a portable restroom, hand-wash station and portable shower.
“When I was there, Rockport didn’t have any water,” says Suarez, who was “amazed at how many people were helping out.
“We ended up helping another organization that was there. We went around asking who needed help, and they parked us right next to FEMA and the National Guard,” he says. “I was assisting more people who were helping with the relief; there were people there in tents.”
Suarez talked with a relief worker who had only been able to shower with a hose, so the additional services were appreciated.
Even though they were only in Rockport one day, Suarez himself was both shocked by the devastation and awed by the amount of help. He says his son was touched by what he saw, including a little girl walking to a relief venue with her grandfather; she was hugging a teddy bear and said she wanted to give it to those in need.
“(My son) saw things that we normally don’t see,” Suarez says, adding that he’s proud of both providing some help as well as helping his son learn about the good in humanity.
“We can be a blessing no matter how big or how small.”