Human spirit on display in Newton and Houston

Before departing Newton, I glimpsed the writing on a case of water I was loading: “Not all Harveys are bad.”

It hit me. Our community in Newton, Kan., would have an impact on families in Houston, Texas.

Last week, I was lucky enough to make a trip down to Houston, hauling a cattle trailer of supplies donated by Newton residents as outreach to the communities ravaged by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

The full trailer, with 10,000 pounds of needed supplies and food, came from groups across Newton and Harvey County. They donated and rallied to help others in need. It was amazing to reflect on the opportunity we had to show love to families hundreds of miles away.

The way down was memorable. The closer we got to Houston, the more the horns were honking.

By the time we hit Dallas, Texas, it was evident we were welcome in the great State of Texas.

We stopped at a Loves gas station, and I witnessed a woman in tears taking a picture of our trailer. She gave us a message of love and encouragement.

Southward we continued. In a parking lot just north of Houston, we found a man and woman who approached us and thanked us for coming down to help.

They told us they had just showered at the Loves and were heading back to their shop.

Stephen Owens and I asked if they needed anything. The man and woman looked at each-other, hesitated and said….”No, I think we will be fine. People down there need the supplies; get it to them, please.”

That experience summed up the trip. We saw the human spirit presented: a wish to pass along help to another person in need.

From Harvey County to Houston, Texas, we were blessed by amazing people with great attitudes. I am grateful to be a part of our little piece of support, giving back to the families in Houston. I took so much away from the experience. It’s hard to put it into words.

After we unloaded and headed back, I looked in my rearview mirror with a feeling of gratitude for what our community did. We made an impact. Those families needed us to take action. Harvey County did just that.

I’m proud of you all, and I am so blessed to live here among such great people.

Andy Ortiz operates a business in Newton and visited Houston recently to help with the clean up following Hurricane Harvey