On August 25, Louis Uccellini, the weather director from the National Weather Service, issued this statement regarding the impact of Hurricane Harvey, “the flooding will be catstrotrophic, life threatening and the economic impact will likely be devastating."

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 30: Flooded homes are shown near Lake Houston following Hurricane Harvey August 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The city of Houston is still experiencing severe flooding in some areas due to the accumulation of historic levels of rainfall, though the storm has moved to the north and east. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The devastation and continuing tragedies Hurricane Harvey has reaked along its distatrious path across South Texas is heartbreaking. Houston is the 4th largest city in the United states. The 6.6 million residents that call Houston home, and many others areas, have now been victims to one of the greatest national disasters we have ever seen in Texas or could ever see in a lifetime.

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: A man waves down a rescue crew as he tries to leave the area after it was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

I have to say that here in Texas it's as if our city limits have no boundaries. When there is an unforeseen and possibly threatening event of any kind, despite magnitude or our home city locations, we all come together to help as one, just like so many are doing here in Wichita Falls following the aftermath of Harvey.

Forget Los Angeles, I think Wichita Falls should be coined the city of angels, never have I been more  proud or inspired to call Wichita Falls my home. I am amazed daily, as a community, I have never seen more selfless and caring humanitarians ready at the drop of a hat doing everything possible to provide the fastest and most needed disaster relief assistance possible.

So, wondering who my new Wichita Falls heroes are and why?

Walmart Employees

Let me just say this one particular local store that we all know so very well here truly has taken disaster relief measures and assistance to a whole new level. Our very own Wichita Falls Walmart on Lawrence Road. We rush in and run out, we take for granted all of the associates and what they do everyday, 24 hours a day, and the hard work and services they provide in our community, conviences that otherwise would not exist!

Here's the story in a nutshell. Due to the love and desires of the entire local Walmart associate family, aside from corporate efforts, they today have set a new standard and their efforts will be treasured forever.

How did this all begin?

After Jesse Rangel, one of our Lawrence Rd store managers, saw the story about the Wichita Falls Fire Department gathering supplies to take down to Houston, she personallly got together with the head location manager, Jennifer Moore, and they decided they would donate three palletts of water to get down there as quickly as possible.

Wichita Falls Walmart water donation

Water was just the first part of their ever evolving plan of action. Once more store associates heard about it, and due to so many of their own Lawrence Rd employees and families having also affected by this tragedy, the managers and employees alike came together immediately. Instantly, they new they had to do something more to provide the greatest amount of assistance and reaching the maximum number of victims possible. They decided they would start different bins where customers are also able to participate by donating some of the critically needed provisions. They named the relief effort Messages Of Hope, because you can write a message to hurricane victims on the item(s) you are donating.

Wichita Falls Walmart Mesages of Hope donation bin

The Provisions that are of greatest need at the present time:

  • Toiletry Items: Shampoo, Soaps & Body Wash, Shaving Cream etc
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Non-Perishable Food
  • Diapers ( they are not provided by disaster relief agencies)
  • Infant And Childcare Items: Baby Food, Formula, Diaper Care Creams etc.
  • Paper Goods
  • Wash Cloths And Towels
  • Pet Food And Pet Care Items

(Ample clothing is available at this time the other mentioned goods are of most need)

The Messages of Hope Bins are located in a number of locations, but you will see the first one as you walk in directly by the produce department. They are wrapped in paper and pens are right there so that store employees and all customers can write a personal message of encouragement or prayer reaching and hopefully inspiring every Hurricane Harvey victim we are so fortunate to help. Even if you are unable to make a donation, please take the time to grab a pen and send your own message of hope.

Wondering what else more our Walmart heroes could possibly do?

Wichita Falls Walmart employees head to Houston for Hurricane relief

Our Lawrence Rd store and Walmarts around Texas decided the final and greatest possible way they could assist even more was to send their very own store employees to Houston. Each store is sending three associates, although everyone at our location was eager and ready to go. They will be there at least until October and will be literally rebuilding the Houston Walmart locations. At 6 am Thursday morning, the very first group of volunteers departed from Wichita Falls. The main goal is to get the stores stocked and products back on the shelves so that everyone again has somewhere to purchase their items of need. All of the select employees that volunteered and are in Houston will still be paid as if they were in their normal position and will volunteer in their time off.

Wichita Falls Walmart employees go to Houston for Hurricane Harvey relief

Can you believe this amazing gift of service all started right here?

In the future, anytime you visit our Wichita Falls Walmart on Lawrence Rd, take the time to remember the timeless and unforgettable efforts of each and every associate that has worked day and night making this possible. If you get a chance, say thank you, really though you can’t put into words how very much these individuals truly deserve!