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June 16th

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Memorial Day Weekend: Storm survivors share their stories

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Following the devastating floods and tornadoes that took place over Memorial Day weekend, Margery Marshall – a representative for Upbring Disaster Response and Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) at the Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs) in Wimberley, San Marcos and Blanco – recounts a few stories of individuals and families who were directly impacted by these storm systems.

Along with the frightening stories of escape and rescue that Margery heard during her days spent in Central Texas MARCs – are the inspiring stories told by survivors about heroes, angels and volunteers – who came from next door, down the street, or from across the country to lend a helping hand, give a hug or even save lives.

One sentiment that Margery heard over and over by grateful survivors was that they never realized that people would come together to help as they have. The following stories are just a few examples of the outpouring of gratitude she has witnessed.

Wimberley MARC

A young mother, who stopped by Upbring’s table because she needed help with groceries after her house had been flooded, mentioned that her 13-year-old son has severe anxiety problems that were triggered by disruption and damage to his belongings. Margery offered an Upbring fleece blanket as a way to provide comfort to the teen. The following day, the mother stopped by to tell Margery that her son immediately opened the blanket, wrapped up in it and fell fast asleep. Until then, she said he’d been too anxious to sleep – the blanket was something that he could hug and claim as his.

San Marcos MARC

An 80-year-old man told Margery that as his home in Martindale began filling with water, he and his wife climbed up to the attic before they were rescued by a helicopter—which also happened to be the last helicopter evacuation before the water receded. Margery recounts that he was more excited about the helicopter ride, than upset about the water in his home. He was also amazed and thankful for all the volunteers helping to clean their home.

Blanco MARC

A man and his son were living in a cabin on the bank of the Blanco River, and luckily, the son was not home the night the water started coming inside. By running a zig-zag up the steep ranch land hill – the man was able to reach higher grounds just in time to watch the river do its damage. They plan to rebuild, but in the meantime, many have reached out offering to help with immediate needs. He is very grateful for the outpouring of God’s love in the Blanco community.

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Margery believes it’s a great blessing to represent Upbring and LDR, as well as partner with other disaster agencies, when helping impacted individuals and families to ensure their needs are met in the short- and long-term. “Working alongside our Lutheran partners, the government and other community and faith-based groups, we are one to serve,” said Margery. “And it’s great to hear many of the survivors say they want to volunteer when they are strong … to pay it forward.”

Please continue to pray for the thousands of families who have been touched by these storms, as well as those engaged in the recovery efforts. To make a gift to Upbring Disaster Response, visit our secure giving page and designate “2015 Storms” in the drop-down menu. Disaster Response is grateful for your financial support in meeting the needs of impacted communities at this time.

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