As I write, I can see the sun shining outside the windows of the Laura U studio. This is a welcome sight. This is also something that I took for granted before Hurricane Harvey devastated so many neighborhoods in and around the City of Houston. Now, I see this sunny day as a sign of hope.


When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston this past weekend, it hammered us with strong winds and heavy, unrelenting rain. Unbelievably, 50″ of rain fell on this city and left much of it submerged. Last Monday we were in awe of a Solar Eclipse. This past Monday we were in awe over the water flowing through our streets and so many of our neighborhoods and homes.

The Buffalo Bayou floods parts of Houston on August 27.

Submerged freeways from the effects of Hurricane Harvey are seen during widespread flooding in Houston.

And now – even as many areas remain flooded – the sun is out and Houston is in view of the entire nation. You have undoubtedly witnessed this incredibly strong community of friends, neighbors, first responders, and total strangers. So many have banded together to pull people from high water. We have been shown in scene after scene our citizens displaying courage and selflessness. In the aftermath of Harvey, I couldn’t be prouder to call myself a Houstonian. This city has impressed upon the entire nation that we are strongest when we work together. There is no place for division here.


Andrew Schneider , Houston Public Media The midtown neighborhood of Houston inundated by flood water early Sunday as Tropical Storm Harvey made its way across Texas.

Flood affected residents are seen on boats on a flooded road in Houston, Texas, US. Photo: Reuters

How to Help

Now that we are on the other side of the storm, we can get to work and put the pieces back together. Michael and I went to donate at the George R. Brown not long after it opened its doors. So many had donated even then that they were not in need of much more – this is truly a resilient and special community! But, many shelters are still in need of basic supplies. Here is a very brief list of the shelters in Houston area – some may be at capacity by the time of this post, so be sure to call or visit to check.

-Reach out to the Red Cross online or by phone at (866) 525 -8300, they are still in need of volunteers and donations.

JJ Watt Foundation. Check out JJ’s site to donate to his Houston Flood Relief Fund.

-Gulf Coast Community Fund, you can make any monetary donations here. Or visit the Texas Gulf Coast VOAD site for ways to volunteer.

-You can also visit the Volunteer Houston Website or call them at (281) 656-1533, for ways to volunteer.

Houston's Gallery Furniture has opened its stores to victims of Hurricane Harvey. (Mattress Mack / Twitter)

Houston Hero – Mattress Mack offered his Gallery Furniture locations as shelters for those in need.

In Awe

The eclipse was beautiful, the storm was vicious, but neither compares to the magnitude of my fellow Houstonian’s volunteerism and charity. This outpouring of love and support is nothing short of awe inspiring. I am so proud to call Houston my home – it is the bedrock of my family and our team at Laura U. This is the city that was happy to support my new business 10 years ago and still does so today. This openness and continual support allow me and the team here to do what we love.

As our team comes back to the studio, I am thankful that they are safe and their homes are dry. We count ourselves amount the lucky ones. Now the work to heal begins and we lend our support by donating and volunteering where it is needed most. This will continue as we all recover in the months to come. Houston is STRONG!

Love from all of us here at Laura U.