HEROIC NEIGHBORS is a monthly post that will feature ordinary people doing great, heroic saintly things. They are ordinary people, friends, family members, strangers or church leaders who standout to you. They might inspire you, motivate you, and lead you into a relationship of love and service for Jesus. If you know somebody that can be the next Heroic Neighbor for Catholic Chowder, share stories and photos with us at email@example.com
This month has been one in the wake of so much devastation and chaos, much fear and what might be described as abandonment. But it’s also the wake of so many heroes and servicemen who have offered their time, treasure and talent to help anybody in need specifically in those areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. This month we will feature a few of our Heroic Neighbors.
Joe Martinez is a native of my hometown, Hereford, Texas. He has owned and operated a tire business for 4 years now and uses his big-rig truck for the work the job demands. Sunday night after Harvey hit the Gulf Coast, Joe was watching the nightly news hearing the reports on the damages, the emergency evacuations, the flooding and stories of people losing everything they had owned. He said he began to think about these people, their livelihood, and how much they had gone through for it to be gone in a matter of hours.
“I got emotional, thinking these people work everyday just like I do, they couldn’t control what happened to them and now it’s all gone…I thought to myself, how would I feel right now if absolutely everything I worked for was gone just like that?…So then I knew I had to do something”
The next morning he got on the phone and called some friends who were in the area. He called radio stations, co-workers, previous co-workers, dairies, local businesses anybody who might be able to help. With the help of good friends Miguel Carrillo, his wife Carolta Carrillo and long time friend Amanda Menius, a donation location was set at the local Walmart. Word got out on social media and the local radio stations.
They would park the semi in the parking lot and accept any type of donations ranging from water, food, clothes, toiletries, dogfood, baby items like formula, clothes, diapers, even carseats and basinets.
Together with the city, they helped to deliver over 32+ pallets of water about 3 pallets of baby supplies, 3 pallets of toilet paper/ paper towels, 3 pallets of dog food, 4 pallets of food, 4 pallets of hygiene items, and countless bags of clothes and toys for the kids. All in just two days.
“I never knew how hard it was to organize a donation drive but I knew it had to be done so I reached out to a few friends and family. First I called radio stations, my cousin works as a DJ for 93.1FM in Amarillo and he got the word out.”
“I called a good friend of mine Miguel Carrillo and asked for some help so he called his boss also my friend Amanda Menius and she got a hold of Walmart and we got the ok to do the drive there.”
“I had no idea how it was going to turn out but I had faith and it is true faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains and that’s exactly what my small hometown did… we where extremely blessed to be able to bless our brothers and sisters in Christ with not one trailer like originally planned but 2 trailers even now just thinking about it I’m emotional how much support and love we had”
Before they left, the city and those involved signed the trailer with words ofencouragement, promising prayers and offering support.
“…Watching the tears just flow from peoples eyes while they wrote an inspirational message to a complete stranger to just keep their faith and stay strong. One person wrote “Isaiah 43:2 When you go through deep waters I will be with you.” -Amanda Menius
Accounts said that while en route to the devastated areas, they made multiple pickups from other businesses and were even stopped by people offering donations to add to the load.
This is only one story among the hundreds if not thousands of people who have helped by offering their time and talent to those in need. The real story is that our God has placed within us a heart from the very beginning. A heart that is born to give and to serve just like my good friends Joe and Amanda did. This is what makes people heroic today, they are virtuous by the acts they do and these heroic neighbors of ours can help us to believe that we can do the same everyday.
“I just want to keep doing everything I can the same message goes through my head all the time daily what does it profit a man that gains the whole world but loses his soul and I never want to lose my soul I want to touch as many people with love and kindness daily.” -Joe Martinez