Sweet Home Texas
Texas. Oh Texas.
I am a Texas girl through and through. I've been known to belt out every word of Deep In The Heart Of Texas, eat Whataburger at 3 a.m., or argue with someone over the fact that I don't have an accent, no matter how twangy my y'all may be. I wore a mum for every homecoming game until I graduated, and make sure my son has one every year as well. I've spent my summer's floating down a river, swimming in the gulf, and eating Blue Bell ice cream straight from the carton. I own a pair of trashy cowboy boots that I can get dirty in, as well as a few nice pairs that are acceptable to wear to a wedding. I know the difference in "fine Mexican dining" and "Authentic Tex-Mex" just by looking at my plate, and also which one I prefer. The same goes for a good steak, chicken fried steak, and steak fingers. Don't even get me started on BBQ. That's an art all on it's own that is more than just throwing a couple of weenies on the grill, and if you've never watched and had your mouth water as a perfectly smoked brisket is sliced, well, I feel sorry for you. I lived out the movie Friday Night Lights, and yes, football is that big of a deal here. It's not unheard of to wave at strangers as you're driving down the road; it's the Texas way. I also won't travel out of state without packing my Texas hat or some type of t-shirt that in one way or another screams "I'm from Texas", because I'm just that proud.
Texas is unlike any other state, and there's a reason that Texans don't hesitate to boast of The Lone Star State. Though the Gulf Coast and Houston have taken a devastating hit from Hurricane Harvey. Texans all over proved to the rest of the world exactly what it meant to hail from this great state. The Spirit of Texas comes from values passed down from generation to generation since Texans were fighting for their freedom in the Mexican Revolution to what all of America is seeing on their televisions when they turn on the news.
Texas has many heroes. Theres Stephen F. Austin, Davy Crockett, Willie and Waylon, The King, Matthew McConaughey, Nolan Ryan, Patrick Swayze, Janis Joplin, and countless sports stars who have made World Series and Super Bowl appearances, and many others. But the real heroes are those who step up when it's needed, those who run into the chaos to help when a fellow Texan needs it. The men and women who immediately put their boots on, loaded up their trucks and boats, and headed into the destruction to rescue those in need without a second thought. Men like Mattress Mack who saw a need and filled it the best way he knew how by opening up his furniture store. Other's gathered water and supplies needed by the victims and those trying to rebuild. It's National Guardsmen and volunteers sleeping on the ground in a parking lot for the one quiet hour they have before starting their search again. It's people of all genders and race carrying one another out of flooded homes to safety. It's standing outside of shelters in lines, not for assistance, but to volunteer. It's truck after truck with a boat hitched to it waiting to launch off the roadway. It's J.J. Watt using his platform to raise over $26 million. It's Texans leaving their homes in the Panhandle to cook for the volunteers and make sure that nobody is going hungry. It's astonishing. It's humbling. It's Texas, and it's what it means to be a Texan. It means that come Hell or high water, we will over come this. It means that just because I'm 10 hours away and haven't seen rain in a month, we feel for you, we are here for you, and we will rebuild.
I personally was glued to the TV and Facebook keeping an eye on what was going on, and I felt helpless. I wanted so much to jump in my car and drive down there to help, but I couldn't. I continued to watch and cried after watching video after video of rescues and people who had lost everything still grateful and thankful to God. People who still had a positive spirit as they loaded trucks and left their homes not knowing what they would return to. Videos of homeless people giving up their blankets to victims stranded outside of gas stations. Tears were falling when I saw an opportunity to help and I decided to jump at it. Truth Ink Apparel and Cheeky's Boutique teamed up and created the Sweet Home Texas shirts to aid in relief for those who lost their homes and businesses. Being small business owners themselves they saw an immediate need to help other boutique owners get back on their feet. The Sweet Home Texas tees are being offered for sale in boutiques all over the country as well as many other designs with 100% of the proceeds going directly to those who have lost everything. The response from my customer's was amazing. I expected to sell a few tees, and ended up raising over $3,500. It's just a tiny grain of sand compared to the damages, but it's something. The last number I saw was $180K raised from the sell of these tees total which will be going directly back to help someone in Texas affected by Harvey. Along with the tees, Jessie at Cheeky's has teamed up with many vendors and brands to help these boutiques receive inventory to have in their stores once they rebuild, gift cards to help with building supplies, and so much more.
I too work for a small business, as well as own my own small business, and I cannot imagine waking up one day and not having a place to go to work and make money, or even having somewhere to live. The uncertainty is frightening. I'm grateful to be a part of the boutique community who immediately started organizing and keeping tabs on those who were in the direct path of the storm before it even made landfall. I'm very grateful to be able to be a small part of this, and I am grateful to all of you who ordered shirts, because y'all are the ones who did it all. I will keep you updated as I get updates, and of course let you know when they all come in. I have stopped taking orders on the shirts, but if you missed it and would still like one you can purchase them on cheekysboutique.com
God Bless the Gulf Coast, God Bless Houston, God Bless the volunteers, and God Bless Texas.
Also, please keep Florida and everyone else in the path of Irma in your prayers.