Mary Johnson

How a few new clothes restored hope after Harvey

Blog Post created by Mary Johnson on Oct 17, 2017

This past weekend, a group of awesome women in Houston hosted a “shopping day” for those devastated by Hurricane Harvey and in need of something we all take for granted: clothes to wear to work.


The group behind the event has dubbed itself Renewing Hope After Harvey. They collected clothing donations for weeks after the storm hit and then hosted a “shopping event” at Cotton Ranch Events in Katy, Texas, where women could come and pick beautiful clothes, free of charge.


Pink Petro was one of more than 30 companies that supported the event in some way. About a dozen volunteers donated their time, and 75 women came to shop. It’s yet another reminder of the power of the Houston community.


Diane Swift, one of the event organizers, collected dozens of stories throughout the day on Sunday. Here are a few:


One woman who recently overcame cancer and recently had two hips replaced donated 40 suits, 20 pairs of shoes, scarves and about 25 handbags. And then she personally brought two ladies that lost their entire wardrobes in the flood to shop yesterday,” Swift told us.


“Another woman who recently moved here from Venezuela told me that, when the volunteer rescuers showed up at her home, they told her she had 2 minutes to evacuate with them because the water was rising so fast,” Swift said. “They also said she could bring three things with her.  She chose to bring her dog, his dog food and a bag of clothes. She has since moved four times and rotates three outfits around for work. She works at the American Heart Institute and they helped her find an apartment and get another car.”


And here’s the best part: That same woman said one of her rescuer’s is now the “love of her life," and she thanks God every day for Hurricane Harvey.


There is good that comes from everything in life, even natural disasters. This weekend was proof.


“Every single thing that every person or company did allowed for the success of the mission, which was to help women replace their career wardrobe and get back to work feeling empowered and beautiful,” Swift said. “I think every woman that either came to volunteer or came to shop yesterday left as a different person.”