Weathering the storm

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t’s been said that in times of tragedy, we find out who our real friends are.

And on rare occasions, we find unlikely friends, who, until that tragedy struck, were strangers.

The devastation of Hurricane Harvey hit home for us at The Sealy News, as publisher Karen Lopez had to evacuate her home. Numerous items in her residence were destroyed including her vehicle and husband Eddie Lopez’s Harris County patrol car.

True to form, Karen put on a brave face, smiled her big smile and set out to clean up the mess. She even reached out to others and offered assistance, covering the story as the storm took shape in Sealy so locals would have instant information on when – or if – they could return to their homes.

It’s not often that Karen Lopez is rendered speechless, but that’s exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago when she was outside picking up stray shards of glass and trash from her front yard.

A man drove up, got out of his vehicle and asked, “Do you know me?”

She did not, in fact, know him, but he seemed nice enough, so she responded with a, “Hey, how are you?” and gave him a hug.

The man said that some of his friends recently created a Go Fund Me account raising $21,000 to send him and his family on vacation. He opted to skip the vacation and was instead spreading that love, in $500 gift cards, to those who were impacted by the storm.

The man was Jeff Lindner, a meteorologist with the Harris County Flood Control District. He was on television and social media throughout the storm, barely getting any sleep so he could provide inspiration to others.

As the residents of Sealy, Austin County, Houston and beyond continue to rebuild, Lindner says he is partnering with the nonprofit Fanatical Change to raise money for victims and families in need. 

To learn more about the Jeff Lindner Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jeff-lindner-hurricane-harvey-recovery-fund-tickets-38118252720?aff=eac2.

Do you have an inspirational story? We are celebrating 130 days of inspiration as we count down the final days of 2017 and commemorate the 130th anniversary of The Sealy News. Send your stories and photos to editor@sealynews.com.

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