Hometown Holidays

Buy Local

From the devastation of natural disaster, we come now to celebrate the things Mother Nature cannot take from us. Our friends, our family, our community – those that rode out the storm alongside us, and held our hand (and sometimes a hammer) as we recover are just a few of the many blessings even a 1-in 100-year storm can’t wash away.

Skin color, financial status, religious affiliation… were of no concern as we leaned on one another for comfort, support, a dry place to sleep and some potable water in the days and weeks following Tropical Storm/Hurricane Harvey’s decent upon the Golden Triangle. Many are still without the amenities of creature comforts they once enjoyed – walls with sheetrock on them, clothes in the closet, armoires that aren’t mold-infested and stuck by the curb.

Through the long and arduous process of rebuilding, it is incumbent that we stick together as a team – our community against the worst of the storm, against the scammers who would come in and victimize yet again those already most reeling from nature’s wrath, against the price gougers and opportunists who couldn’t find the Golden Triangle on map before they came to peddle their wares at exorbitant rates. Southeast Texans helping Southeast Texans – it’s what we are, it’s what we do, and it’s why we will come back bigger and better after we get knocked down time and time again. Large-scale disasters like Rita’s winds and Harvey’s waters never were, or ever will be, any match for a community united. And, just as we lean upon and support each individual that comes together to make this community viable, we must, too, support our local businesses as we expect them to support us.

From Courville’s and Sake Sushi Bar to Market Basket, from ExxonMobil Beaumont to Tiger Industrial, the list goes on and on – these local companies came to the rescue at a time when the federal and state government still barely noticed that a catastrophe hit parts of Texas that wasn’t “Houston.” Local merchants, businesses, corporations, nonprofits, churches, and restaurants checked their inventory and manned their stations to show they, too, are just as much a part of the community as its residential homes and municipal offices.

The airport opened up terminals for processing donations, with its own crews working to assist in the volunteer effort, restaurants such as Republic Chicken cooked up free meals for volunteers and weary storm-battered refugees. Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and Cathedral in the Pines, as well as others, pulled in their congregations to hand out necessities, provide shelter, and ensure hot meals.

We need local business – and they need us. When our homes were ravaged by hurricanes and floods, it wasn’t Amazon whose employees rolled up their sleeves and worked endless hours feeding our first responders and stocking the shelves with supplies we all so desperately needed – who not only had their boots on the same soggy ground, but also used their resources to help families repair and rebuild. Now, the same businesses that stayed and aided in Southeast Texas’ recovery need support from the community they live in and serve.

Aside from the economical benefits to the community in keeping dollars local, shopping local also opens up a means of workforce stabilization for our family, friends, and neighbors – who then, in turn, continue the cycle of benefit to the local economy with the wages earned from the businesses we patronize. In short: By helping local business, we help ourselves. Because we are Southeast Texas.

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