As 2017 came to a close, former President Barack Obama tweeted three stories that he said reflected the resilience of Americans during that year — and a Houston story made the cut.
Wedding planner Kat Creech, along with Sugar Land couple Sarah Samad and Mohsin Karedia, received a shout-out via Twitter from the 44th president late last week for their response to Hurricane Harvey.
As recounted by the Houston Chronicle, Samad and Karedia intended to wed in early September, with Creech planning the nuptials. When Harvey flooded large swaths of greater Houston, the couple put their plans on hold, and Creech hatched an idea: enlist wedding guests to volunteer with recovery efforts.
About 30 of the expected 500 wedding guests came to help, and the mission ballooned into a grassroots network called Recovery Houston. From a northwest Houston office, Recovery Houston connects volunteers with areas and people in need. According to its website, about 2,000 volunteers have helped clean 250-plus homes.
“We started right after the hurricane,” Samad said. “We went into the streets and thought there would be all of these agencies there to help. But there was no one in sight. So we just starting going door to door to help.”
Obama prefaced his reference to Creech, Samad and Karedia by writing, “As we count down to the new year, we get to reflect and prepare for what’s ahead. For all the bad news that seemed to dominate our collective consciousness, there are countless stories from this year that remind us what’s best about America.”
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