After an exhausting, difficult, frustrating, unwashed, and, of course, cold week, it would be almost too easy to look it all over and only remember how bad it's been. And it has been awful, there's no denying that. But at the same time, Houstonians did what we always do: We showed up for each other in ways large and small.
Someday soon we might forget the memories of boiling snow to flush the toilet, the exact feeling of a solid week without a shower, and the deafening silence that told us, before even the cold could, that yes, the power was still out—you know, when all of this is safely in the past. But while we wait, here are a few things that happened that may help you remember why we love this tough, wonderful town, even in the face of all the usual catastrophes and freak Arctic blasts:
Mattress Mack stepped up the way he always does.
There are few things in the world as reliable as Jim McIngvale when Houston is in a time of need—or when there's a high-stakes game to be bet on—because the Gallery Furniture owner is always right there on hand. This time was no exception. He quickly opened up his store to create a warming center, and now it's the giveaway hub for the Cajun Navy, who are once again back in force and handing out water, food and other supplies for the next 10 days at least.
Trae Tha Truth got out and did some good, because of course he did.
Trae Tha Truth is always turning up to help out his fellow Houstonians, whether that means him and his Relief Gang hauling them out of the water during a flood, or, as in the case this week, buying food and generators.
The Food-A-Rama Angel, who appeared out of nowhere.
The power went out, but the pair of cashiers ringing people up never faltered, and then, when some people didn't have cash for their purchases, a mystery man moved through the line, providing enough cash for everyone without dollars to get what they needed, as we've reported.
The Texans fed the kids.
Or more specifically, they donated $25,000 to Kids Meals, Inc., a local nonprofit that focuses on ensuring children don't go hungry. The donation translates to 12,500 meals for children.
Beyoncé did her thing.
Houston loves Queen Bey, and she is always showing us that she loves us right back. On Thursday her nonprofit BeyGood announced that, in partnership with Bread For Life and Adidas, Houstonians could apply for up to $1,000 to help with financial hardship related to the storm.
The restaurant that kept going so customers had somewhere to get warm.
The owner of Taste of Tel Aviv had already lost power at home, so he brought his family to his Westbury restaurant to sleep on Monday night. He was making a pizza for them when he noticed people trying the doors. He opened up and kept serving for as long as he could this week.
A woman had a baby at home without power or running water.
When this Magnolia couple's birthing center had to close due to the power and water outages, they went with their backup plan—and it all worked out beautifully.
And it hasn't just been Houston's own in the game for doing good this week:
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put her supporters to work—for Texas.
While not a Houstonian, the New York congresswoman sent out a fundraising appeal to her followers earlier this week to help out Texas, with the proceeds going to various charities, including the Houston Food Bank. And her followers responded, in a big way. As of Friday, she'd raised $2 million for the Lone Star State and was headed down here to meet with our own U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia and to help distribute supplies.
Kacey Musgraves is selling a Cruz-in shirt.
Houston's own Sen. Ted Cruz is now feverishly handing out water and trying to salvage his reputation after that ill-advised trip to Cancun this week, but the jaunt wasn't a complete waste. Why? Well because the singer-songwriter Musgraves made a t-shirt with the slogan "Cruzin for a Bruizin" on it and she is selling the shirts on her website for $29.99 with the proceeds going to benefit Texas charities.