Views of the Neighborhood – Community Spirit


Continuing with my thoughts on maintaining a positive focus regarding Hurricane Harvey, I am featuring three separate groups who have set up relief points in town. All the goods in these relief locations are donations from kind folks outside of Port Aransas. These contributions have made a difference in helping folks through a very tough time.

Community spirit

Our first stop is the Recovery Supply Depot at Robert’s Point Park

Here residents can find almost anything in cleaning supplies, hardware, and food. Bear in mind the local grocery store just opened this week with a very limited supply.

This shot will give you an idea of the magnitude of the donations. There are even wheelchairs available.

I loved this shot since it shows bikes, shovels and rakes.

When I took this picture a guy off camera asked,”Do you have any tarps?” The answer was, “Sure do. What size?”

Port Aransas spirit

The next relief point is Cowboy Camp David. A place run by volunteers offering free food, water, and hugs. The words across the Texas image on the right of the sign read “Texas Strong.”

Water is very important and is available here.

The volunteers are setting up for lunch

The local churches were hard hit so Camp David is the point to gather for worship.

Cooking under a pop-up.

Two things every Texan loves. Bar-b-que and the Texas flag.

This relief point is the Harvey Help Center and is located in the ruins of the Laughing Horse Motel.  There are bins of cleaning supplies, food, and clothes. (The Fritos looked especially good)

Here is a shot of the women who run this relief spot. I was impressed by their enthusiasm and desire to help those in need.


  1. This is great, John and tremendously inspirational. —- Suzanne

    1. Thank you, Suzanne.

  2. Gwen Plano · ·

    As heartbreaking as this catastrophe was and is, it is heartwarming to see the kindness of people emerging concretely through relief and rebuilding efforts. I love that the flag is proudly displayed “blue for loyalty, white for purity, and red for bravery…and the lone star for unity” – beautiful! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Gwen. Although this is my adopted state I am always in awe of that beautiful flag. 🙂

  3. Very cool. Good to see so many helping. Ha e ships been able to reach the island? Noticed you said the grocery store had limited supplies, so I was curious about the ports and such.

    1. The ports are operational. I saw a couple move through the channel the other day. Thanks, Charles.

      1. Great to hear. Hope things get repaired quickly.

      2. Me too. Still no internet. Drat.

      3. That seems to be one of the hardest things to get back.

      4. Yeah. You have to wonder why.

  4. Such an uplifting story, John. I am impressed with the spirit of those impacted and still willing to help. And yes to Fritos, I mean, there’s only so much raking you can do without a salty break. Meanwhile, the storms continue. I hope you guys have seen the last from this season.

    1. We hope we have seen the last as well, Dan. I think all of the folks in the line of hurricanes hope the season ends soon. We all share your wish. 🙂

  5. John, this is a heartwarming post. I loved that I saw a kid’s bike and conversely wheelchairs. So much mindfulness — the body and the spirit of all ages need healing. The rubber boots and tarps are very telling of the damage…
    Wishing you and yours all good things. Hugs.

    1. Thank you, Teagan. My favorite shot was a tub of Fritos. There was a heap of kindness in that donation.

      1. I read Fritos, but didn’t see them. (I’ll blame it on the stomach virus that hit like a ton of bricks at 5am…) A whole tub? Agreed, that’s true kindness. 🙂

      2. Flu-flu go away. Get my boss yesterday.

  6. How wonderful to see people coming together to help those in need. I loved the “Free Hugs!” Thanks for sharing this, John.

    1. Thank you , Jill. 😀

  7. It’s always heartwarming to see the smiles that spring from people coming together in a time of tragedy.

    1. The fact that they can smile is a testament to their courage. Thanks, GP.

  8. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey – people outside of John Howell’s home in Port Aransas have rallied around to donate time, food and other essential items to help get the residents back on their feet. I am only sorry that this post will only be shared on blogland.. because it should be on the front page of every newspaper in print and online to knock the images of the lunatic fringe off and illustrate how fantastic humans can be. #recommended.

    1. Thank you, Sally. Your words ring true. (sadly)

  9. I hope the hurricane didn’t bring you much damage, dear John. Wonderful post! Wonderful people! Another example how simple human beings are able to make somebody’s life better. Great! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Maria. Our damage was minor compared to others. 😀

      1. Uh! These are good tidings indeed! I wish you fast restoring & recovering after this natural disaster! 🙂

  10. This warms the heart. < 3

    1. Thank you so much, Alethea. It really does when you see how much little things mean to folks who have lost everything.

  11. No matter how dark the disaster, the best of humanity will always shine through.

  12. Great to see this, John. Thanks for posting it.

  13. Reblogged this on Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti and commented:
    I was moved as I viewed pictures of Harvey Relief Centers set up in Port Aransas, Texas – taken by Author John W. Howell.

    1. Thank you for the reblog, John

      1. My pleasure, good sir!

  14. 3 Cheers for Texas! ❤

    1. Hip hip hooray. Thanks, Annette.

  15. This is the news story I wish they’d run. It seems the newsies all ran off to the next disaster, but there is a genuine human interest tale here.

    1. I do too. Those guys come and go in a heated rush (so to speak)

  16. Reblogged this on Jan Hawke INKorporated and commented:
    There are so many good, kind people out there! John Howell takes us on a tour of the voluntary support camps in Port Aransas, Texas for those afflicted by Hurricane Harvey 😀

    1. Thank you, Jan. So nice

  17. You mean I can have faith in humankind after all?! Awesome!

    (Looks like you must have a hell of a fire ant problem down there, John, judging by pic 5 … 😉 )

    1. That is the small size for the little ones. The big size is in the back of a truck.

  18. It is amazing to see how people have come together to help neighbors and strangers. When one has lost everything even the basics become precious – food, water, shelter, hugs, Fritos, tarps, bikes, fire ant killer, clothes, bar-b-que and laughter. Well done, John! I look forward to visiting Port A again.

    1. Thanks, Jo. Thank you for the lovely review of My GRL as well.

  19. Glad you’re fetting that help, John!
    Have a great Sunday,

  20. Thank you for sharing such great examples of human kindness. I particularly liked the sign with free hugs.

    1. Me too, Brigid. Makes a warm statement.

  21. Thank you for sharing these photos, John. The spirit of community is what will make recovery possible.

    1. That is for sure, Jan. Thank you.

  22. John, thank you for spotlighting these big-hearted helpers! I’m sure it’s very rewarding to them to be able to help so many in need. I remember, especially, wanting ice after a hurricane. With no power and all Mother Nature’s heat, ice was a rare — and expensive — commodity. Um, I had to chuckle over the Fire Ant removal sacks!!

    1. We had ice by the trailer load so maybe there was learning in your experience. Water and Ice were available from day one.

  23. Reblogged this on mallie1025 and commented:
    Pictures worth a thousand words

  24. A picture truly is worth a thousands words!! Great job, John. I commented on this on several posts.reblogged on

    1. Thank you so much, Micki.

  25. Is the hurricane going to show up in a book of yours, John? This is beautiful, by the way!

    1. I think it may since I’m working on a new book now.

      1. I knew it! 🙂

  26. So beautiful to see community coming together. 🙂

      1. Welcome. 🙂

  27. This is so good to read, John. With all that’s going on in the world, seeing how people have stepped up and pulled together in the face of tragedy has restored my faith in humanity.

    1. You have described the silver lining on the raincloud, Rhonda. It takes a challenge to cause appreciation for what is important in life. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  28. Thanks for the inspiration, John. I hope things are improving.

    1. Thank you, Olga. Things are slowly getting back. Our new normal is to do without and make do. 😀

  29. Heartwarming, inspirational – what everyone else said – just wonderful.

  30. Brings a tear to the eye, John. Such good people coming together to do good things.

  31. The human spirit is amazingly resilient. It goes to show that differences evaporate when people work together to help each other. Something politicians can learn from and the rest of us, as well.

    1. Thank you, Don. I wish some of the world leaders would come to our island and learn a lesson in behavior.

      1. At least ours, maybe. I’d settle for that.

      2. Ours would be great.

  32. This is so uplifting and inspiring!

    1. Thank you, Deborah.

  33. It’s so important to continue to wrote about the aftermath of this storm. People are still in need of help. Thank you for sharing this with us, John.

  34. This warms my heart. So wonderful to see, John! 🙂

  35. After all the residents of Port Aransas have been through, these photos of people helping out are heartwarming.

    1. It is a view of the best. Thanks, Michelle.

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