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#HARVEY: Survivor is still moved by help from volunteers who came from across the nation

Hurricane Harvey survivor reflects on impact on impact of volunteers coming in from all over
Posted at 1:20 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 01:02:50-04

ROCKPORT, Texas — Jamie Partch returned to Rockport from her evacuation site -- her family's home in the Waco area -- three days after Hurricane Harvey roared ashore in August 2017.

She found her home and property, like so many others, in the direct path of the massive storm -- destroyed.

"We had tons of devastation everywhere," she said. "All of my trees in my yard were down."

Worse, her home had no roof, and was growing mold inside from the rain that was now able to get in.

Worse still, she would have to live in the badly damaged house as she recovered from surgery and endured other treatments from a recently diagnosed case of breast cancer.

But dozens of volunteers, many of them from out of state, went to great lengths to make her situation more livable -- and eventually recoverable.

Samaritan’s Purse put a couple of tarps down and plywood on (my roof)," Partch said. "Eventually, I got a new house. The yard’s looking better, and everybody’s bouncing back."

Based out of North Carolina, Samaritan's Purse arrived in the Rockport area a few months after Harvey hit.

By the time they left in September of last year, the charity says 2,227 of its volunteers spent 102,000 hours helping 200 families rebuild their homes or get new ones entirely.

"It’s been such an honor for Samaritan’s Purse to work alongside so many different groups, so many different people," Samaritan's Purse Director of Recovery and Development Brent Graybeal said. "In addition to our volunteers, we also worked with the local governments and the community groups in those areas."

Partch has since received a clean bill of health.

“I’m three years out, and I’m doing good," she said. "Cancer still sucks, but I’m rocking it.”

She thanks her doctors for that. But when it comes to having a new home to live in that's free of Harvey debris, her gratitude extends to the thousands of volunteers and other people who came from near and far to help out.

“This community came together amazingly," she said. "It was just — it was beautiful.”

The area received help from many other out-of-state groups as well.

Louisiana's "Cajun Navy" was one of the quickest to arrive, with volunteers living out of tents as they supplied food, water, and other assistance to storm victims.

They were unable to provide someone who was involved in their rescue and relief efforts in the Rockport area to contribute to this story.