Home for the holidays

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When most think of Christmas, they remember the memories of running to the Christmas tree as children and opening the presents. The joy adults feel from the holiday season often comes from seeing their kids making those memories.

The memories of Christmas Eve dinners around the table as the aromas of ham, turkey and cranberry sauce fill the house are still vivid memories to many around the country. Unfortunately for Jason Manies and his family, the effects from Hurricane Harvey are keeping them from filling the walls of their house with the smells of Christmas meals and sharing smiles from each other on Christmas morning.

Manies is a 14-year veteran of the Sealy Police Department and currently serves as a detective. When Harvey made landfall on the coast of Texas back in August, Manies was among the many who received the call to help Sealy and surrounding neighborhoods prepare.

“I went out about two days before Harvey got here and my brother stayed behind to take care of the house in Bear Creek Village,” Manies said. “When Harvey hit, he called me up and told me it was pretty obvious that the house was going to flood.”

Manies’ house ended up getting flooded with approximately 4 feet of water and his brother had to swim out of the house and take refuge at a local elementary school. Manies wasn’t able to return to his house until days after the flooding had reached its peak.

While he was making sure the citizens he pledged to protect were safe and would make it through the hurricane safely, he was unable to see his own house and the extent of damage.

“Furniture, beds, you name it and it was all thrown out,” Manies said. “It was obvious we weren’t going to be able to live in it again for a while.”

Manies, his wife and their 13-year-old child moved into an apartment above his grandparents’ garage in Spring Branch. Manies said he was hoping the home would be ready for their return by Christmas but that’s still up in the air.

“Not having a place to relax is the worst part,” Manies said. “Every time you’re done with work, you just come back to this place that feels different and we just want to get back to our own house.”

The Sealy News is partnering with the Sealy Chamber of Commerce to help the Manies family to get home for the holidays. The expense of home repairs has been overwhelming.

”If you can give just $5, it makes a difference,” said Karen Lopez, publisher of The Sealy News. “Let’s come together as a community and help those who unselfishly help us in our time of need.”

The Sealy News and Sealy Chamber of Commerce will be taking monetary donations until the end of the year for the Manies family. Mail your donation or drop by the Sealy News at 193 Schmidt Road, Sealy, Texas 77474 or Sealy Chamber of Commerce, 309 Main St., Sealy, Texas 77474. Make checks out to The Sealy News c/o Manies.

“We are grateful to Jason Manies for all he does for our community,” Lopez said. “We hope our contributions will help to return his family to their home.”

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