A Message of Thanksgiving
By U.S. Sen. John Cornyn
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with our loved ones in the coming days, I am again reminded of the reasons I love Texas and her people, and why I am so proud to call the Lone Star State home.
During the past few weeks, Texans across the state have come together to find ways they can assist the many residents of the Northeast who were displaced by Hurricane Sandy. From Houston, Elena Davis, founder of the I Am Waters Foundation, and her team of volunteers directed 76,000 bottles of water to victims on the East Coast. Davis and her husband Gregg traveled to New York to oversee the distribution.
Bud Royers, owner of Royers Round Top Café, in Round Top, Texas, and a friend will soon be driving to the Jersey Shore, Staten Island and the Rockaways, to deliver more than 650 of his handmade pies to relief kitchens in hopes of providing comfort food to hurricane victims on Thanksgiving. The Dallas Market Center is financing Royers’ trip, and he will also deliver gift cards donated by other generous Texans.
From the Texas Panhandle, Red Cross volunteer Nick Rocha traveled with 3 other volunteers to the East Coast to help victims recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Rocha, who was named 2010 Volunteer of the Year by the Red Cross’ Texas Panhandle chapter, told the Amarillo Globe-News he has helped victims in previous natural disasters such as tornadoes and fires, but had never witnessed anything as devastating as the scenes he encountered when he arrived in New York. One highlight of his trip was the opportunity to boost the morale of children at a relief shelter when he built a snowman, which he topped with a cowboy hat and named “Little Texan.”
On November 2, a group of 60 volunteers from Texas Baptist Men in Dallas drove three giant trailers to New York that were fully equipped with showers, kitchens and laundry facilities to provide hot showers, warm meals and clean laundry to hurricane victims. Volunteer Stan Knight told NBC 5 KXAS, "It's a Hilton on wheels. We have three showers in this room, three over here. We'll have three washers, four dryers. They're large capacity so we can do a lot of laundry." He added, "It's unbelievable what clean clothes and a shower will do on your overall outlook on things.”
These are only a few stories of Texans who have risen to the occasion in the past few weeks to show their fellow Americans in need the Texas spirit of generosity and kindness. Across the state, many other individual Texans and Texas businesses have donated their time, resources and supplies to a wide variety of relief organizations. For this I am deeply thankful this Thanksgiving.
May God bless you and yours this holiday season, and may He continue to bless the great state of Texas.
Sources: NBC 5 KXAS; Amarillo Globe-News; Houston Chronicle; CultureMap Houston
Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Armed Services and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.