Making Friendswood Stronger by Cultivating Friendships
In the aftermath of Harvey, Omar worked for 45 consecutive days running the Disaster Relief Center at 209 South Friendswood Drive, First Baptist Church of Friendswood. In the weeks following the storm, Friendswood was flooded again, but this time with an outpouring of love and support from across the country.
Trucks came daily from many cities and states, one of those being Liberty, New York. Gary Siegel initially arrived and helped with high water rescues and other recovery efforts. He saw the continuing need and planned to return. Omar met Gary on their second trip to Friendswood, when they arrived at the Relief Center with a crew and two large Penske trucks filled with supplies for the community. You may have noticed the enormous wall of popcorn boxes they brought in the newsclip posted previously. They stayed in Friendswood and helped in the Relief Center for two more days, unloading trucks, distributing supplies, and doing whatever else was needed. Omar invited Gary to join him at church on Sunday, which he did. After the team left, Gary and his wife Judy continued to help by sending stuffed animals for children who had lost theirs.
Omar and Gary continued to correspond and when Gary heard that the Peck Family was going to be in New York City to attend a performance at Carnegie Hall for Christmas, which included Omar’s daughter-in-law and granddaughter as well as other members of First Baptist Church Friendswood, arrangements were made to meet up and attend the performance together. Omar was surprised when Gary presented a ceremonial check for $3,128.39 from the Liberty County Rotary Club to help with continuing recovery efforts in Friendswood! The money was sent to the Friendswood Rotary Club where it was then put to good use for our citizens in need. This relationship will continue to thrive, exemplifying what can happen when people come to together with common hearts for the needs of others.