13 Instances Of The Human Spirit Shining Through During Hurricane Irma And Harvey

In times of hardship, it's most important we set our differences aside to be there for one another.

Hurricane Irma and Harvey have caused staggering destruction, displaced thousands, and claimed innocent lives. The impact of the natural disasters will be felt for years in the highly affected regions. But through the tragedy, it's important we recognize those who have gone out of their way to help those in need. These people show that, in times of hardship, it's most important we set our differences aside to be there for one another. 

Those ordinary people who acted extraordinary, in big and small ways, are a shining example of the resilience of people, and what the human spirit is all about. Through the darkness, it's important we recognize the light and take example from those who have lent a helping hand. 


1. The medical experts who are going to Florida to help those in need.

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An Imgur user posted a photo of 300 paramedics, nurses, and doctors on a C-17 plane about to take off to Orlando to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

2. The mom who donated 1,040 ounces of breast milk for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Missouri mom Danielle Palmer donated her breast milk to babies in need during the hurricane. She was already pumping for her son, Truett, who was born with a congenital heart defect and is currently being fed through an IV. 

3. The furniture store owner who turned his stores into emergency shelters.

Jim "Mattress Mack " McIngvale converted two of his Gallery Furniture stores into emergency shelters for those looking to escape the flood waters in Texas following Hurricane Harvey and invited people from the community to take shelter.

4. The paramedics, dispatcher, and doctor who remotely helped this woman deliver her baby at home.

Cara Kesling went into labor during Hurricane Irma. The then-Category 3 storm made it too dangerous for medical personnel to reach her and her husband, so Kesling delivered the baby and placenta with the help of the staff coaching her over the phone. She named her baby Nayiri Storm in remembrance of the event. 

5. The volunteer who dressed up as Spider Man to cheer up kids in shelters.

A volunteer-turned-superhero dressed up as Spider Man to visit a shelter in Houston following the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. The friendly neighborhood Spider Man talked to families, handed out stickers, and gave high fives.

6. The neighbors who formed a human chain to help a pregnant woman get to the hospital during Hurricane Harvey.

Facebook user Molly Askers posted a video of her neighbors who formed a human chain to help Andrea Smith when she went into labor during the storm surge in Houston. They were able to flag down a dump truck driven by firefighters who then delivered Smith and her husband to the hospital. She gave birth to a baby girl named Adrielle. 

7. The stranger in Florida who gave his generator to a woman in need.

Pam Brekke needed a generator to keep her sick father's oxygen powered. She drove 30 miles to a store when they received an unexpected delivery of generators, but she broke down in the line when she discovered they had sold out. A stranger named Ramon Santiago saw Brekke and told her to take the generator he had secured.

8. The business owner who offered up his facility as a refuge for animals during Hurricane Irma.

The business owner of Southern Wood Arena, Sebastian Fornby, took to social media to offer up his 55 empty stables as an animal refuge during Hurricane Irma. His friends donated their time to help get the facility ready for incoming guests.

9. The man who returned a wallet full of money he found in the lead up to Hurricane Irma.

North Fort Myers resident Earl Hawk was in a hardware store before Hurricane Irma when he found a wallet with $1,000 cash inside. The wallet belonged to Karl Deigert, who was preparing for the hurricane. Hawk was able to get the wallet back to Deigert. The relieved owner thanked Hawk by offering him a fishing trip and a free stay in his motel. 

10. The volunteers who had an impromptu gospel performance at a shelter.

Volunteers Victoria White and Marquist Taylor broke out into a rendition of "Spirit Break Out" at an emergency shelter near Houston to provide a moment of relief. Soon others in the shelter joined in.

11. The reporter who saved a man’s life as her newsroom flooded.

KHOU 11 News reporter Brandi Smith and photographer Mario Sandoval lost contact with their newsroom during their broadcast of Hurricane Harvey's impact. During their solo broadcast, they noticed a trapped truck driver and flagged down police to come to the rescue.

12. The churchgoers who created a rest stop for those passing through the area fleeing from Irma.

First Baptist Church of Baxley, GA created a rest stop for those driving through the area.  They set up a food and snack station where people could relax, use the facilities, and have a quiet meal.

13. The trapped bakery staff who made two days’ worth of bread for those in need.

Staff at El Bolillo Bakery's South Wayside Drive branch in Houston, Texas were trapped inside for two days following the flooding of Hurricane Harvey. The proactive bakeries used 4,200 pounds of flour to bake hundreds of loaves of bread and sheets of pan dulce for emergency centers across the city.


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