Volunteer groups joined forces Saturday to provide Christmas to a group of Texans in the midst of one of their toughest years. Catholic Charities Dallas and Holy Cross Catholic Church served a holiday feast and gifts to the area's Hurricane Harvey evacuees.
About 100 people filled the room as volunteers served up meals to families of all sizes.
Cynthia Adams' family was one of the largest. They ended up in Dallas after their hometown of Orange, Texas, was swamped by Harvey.
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“Our house flooded, so we had to leave on a boat. We had to go from shelter to shelter until we ended up in Dallas, and this is where we relocated,” she said.
Catholic Charities Dallas has heard similar tales from the 220 families they’re working with to rebuild lives in North Texas.
“A lot of people literally had nothing. When they left the shelters they literally had a blanket, and that was it. And everything they had down south was gone,” said John Maschado, Catholic Charities Dallas' director of evacuee services.
The organization aims to help families find homes to rent, jobs and schools for the kids. They’re also helping with long-term recovery skills, like building budgets to figure out, and sustain, new lives as transplants.
But just days before Christmas, there’s a much simpler goal. Through food and Christmas gifts for both kids and adults, volunteers are helping storm evacuees find a moment of joy.
“As long as we’re together, we’ll be ok,” Adams said.