This story originally appeared on KUT News.
At a former Target in San Marcos, instead of aisle after aisle of merchandise, table after table is covered in donations. Diane Insley, the coordinator at this donation center, lists off all of the donations they have.
“Cleaning supplies, mops, tools to rip out sheet rock that’s been damaged. We also have basic food, non perishable food items, a lot of bottled water, some brand new clothing, some basic shoes and then we have baby items, personal hygiene, deodorant soaps, Clorox bleach, laundry detergent…,” she points out.
The help’s coming from out of state, too. A trucking company out of Monroe, La., brought a semi-truck full of water bottles Thursday morning.
One woman at the center was so moved by the help she wanted to say something but couldn’t. She mentions how wonderful people have been to her, amid tears. She puts her hand on her heart and walks away.
Another flood survivor, Tina Wolfe, says things are getting better for her, too.
“Dude, things are getting a lot better,” says Wolfe, who’s living in a motel in Buda because of the damage to her house in Martindale. “Young people with trailers just picking up your trash out of your yard, so, you really can’t get much better than that. You can’t do anything, so just smile through the tears and go on. So, it’s what I’m doing. Just go on.”
People in Texas aren’t new to natural disasters. One volunteer said he’d just moved here from the Gulf Coast and had seen his fair share of hurricane damage, so he wanted to help on his day off.
“Everybody is hanging on. It seems like all of San Marcos,” says Oblira Loya, who sat with her granddaughter by the door. “You get help from every direction. Thank God seems like everybody’s getting some help.”
A few miles away, the San Marcos Flood Volunteer Center is where a lot of the help is being organized. They sent many volunteers to River Road, where others helped out all day in the heat and under the rain.
United Way volunteer Patrick Franklin, a junior at Texas State, was pushing a wheelbarrow outside of a day care that had been flooded.
“I just knew that there was so much the community needed and I figured if I was in a situation San Marcos people would come help me so I should be doing it as well, you know what I mean?” he said. “It’s good to help people, you know?”
Across the street, mattresses, couches, ovens, tables, washers and dryers cover the sidewalks.
“They’re asking us to help move furniture, get the mud out of the house as best we can, get the water out, and just trying just to make it livable, really,” says Coy Campbell, a volunteer with his church in Kingwood. That’s about four hours away. “This is going to be a long process. So we’ll put in a few days here, we’ll go to church where we’re staying and then we’ll head back to Kingwood.”
For now, volunteers like Campbell are helping put San Marcos back together, one house at a time.