By Courtney Cox | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hurricane Matthew devastated the lives and livelihood of many as it brewed in the Caribbean and mercilessly stormed its way up through the Southeast shores of the United States.
Matthew wreaked havoc in a multitude of places hitting Haiti and North Carolina with full force. However, this does not mean other locations along Matthew’s path didn’t feel his unrelenting wrath.
Donna Wright, a resident of Davis Shores in St. Augustine, was just one of many local residents who returned to a house that could no longer be called home.
“When we came back, my garage door was broken and we went in and everything had floated to the back of the garage,” Wright said, “I went into the house and all of the house had water in it.”
The water line in Wright’s house was 22 inches from the floor, and that was just enough for her to lose all her medical papers, bank statements and the majority of her appliances, Wright said.
“So far the only thing that’s working is the refrigerator,” Wright said.
In this unfortunate circumstance, Wright had no flood insurance.
Thankfully for Wright, she hasn’t been taking on the recovery process alone. Her son, Bryan Wright, came down from Maryland to help while leaving behind his wife and two children. Other volunteers, relief groups, Facebook groups and even her doctor have been doing what they can to make Donna Wright’s day a little brighter.
“After the first week I was such a lunatic person, and I’m a high energy A-type personality; I had to go to my doctor, and all he did was he just hugged me,” Wright said.
Donna’s son, Bryan, has been faced with the overwhelming fact that his mom can no longer live in her home. He’s doing what work he can to help and has noticed all the work the community has been doing to pitch in. Realistically though, it will still take years for his mother’s house to become home again, Bryan said.
It’s hard for Bryan to see what was once his grandmother’s home and then his mother’s home destroyed, he said. However, Bryan remains hopeful throughout the rebuilding process.
“It could be worse,” Bryan said, “and even though it’s bad, we will rebuild.”
In the meantime, Donna must resort to the many people in her life in order to continue going about her daily routines. Laundry, cooking and sleeping can no longer be done in the comfort of her own home.
However, it’s not Donna’s unrecoverable personal items and expensive home restoration that upset her the most, but rather Christmas presents. Donna had collected a numerous amount of Christmas presents, varying from school supplies to toys, that were to be donated to a local charity: the Arc of St. Johns County.
With tears in her eyes, Donna couldn’t help but fear that the kids who she so generously planned to donate to, might not have the Christmas they deserve.
“That’s all I can still think about is these kids not having anything,” Donna said.
Instead of feeling sorry for herself, even after losing so much, Donna remains selfless. Hurricane Matthew has taken away much of what people work their whole life to obtain, but there’s one thing Matthew didn’t take into account when he broke the hearts of everyone he touched. And that’s humanity.
Humanity will always prevail.
The human spirit has already touched the lives of the Wrights and so many others through various volunteer efforts. It’s in times like these that every hand, big or small, makes a wave of difference.
Help those affected like Donna. Help create the wave.