Just two months ago, Ellen DeGeneres featured the young ladies from the Rockport-Fulton High School girls volleyball team on her program. The video allowed them to share their thoughts and feelings about having their final year of high school more or less co-opted by Hurricane Harvey.
See, one of the casualties of the hurricane was the Rockport-Fulton High School gymnasium, where the volleyball team played. For their entire high school year, they never had their own gym—an important fixture in a small community. Ellen conspired with one of the students on the team to gift the school with $1 million and a partnership with Lowe's to rebuild the gym.
Just as importantly, the story of the girls' volleyball team gave a national platform to some of the struggles that Rockport residents are still going through.
One young woman started crying when she described seeing the destroyed gym for the first time: "We got pictures of our gym and it was just...everywhere." Another added, "It was like a second home for us...to see it destroyed was so devastating."
Amidst the Loss, There's Hope
A third young woman ended on a hopeful note, however, saying "After Harvey, you could just see everyone come together to help everyone out." Rockport is a tight-knit community, and as far as the people are concerned, there is nothing keeping them from recovering as long as their neighbors continue standing alongside them.
One of the last women to speak was able to share about where Rockport was compared to several months ago. She said, "If you take a look around Rockport, there's still destruction everywhere. There are still people displaced, there are still people out a job...so much has happened, but the thing is: we have our community."