Looking Back, TRTF Assisted Retirees in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

The Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) is a charitable organization dedicated to helping active and retired school employees. One year ago, Aug. 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast of Texas and devastated thousands of lives. Among those lives was Diane Brady, a retired educator whose roof was ripped apart during the storm.

Brady is used to hurricane season. Each year she has a plan. She boards up the windows, stocks up on food and water and makes sure her insurance is up-to-date. But 2017 was different.

Harvey was a category 4 hurricane, and its powerful winds and torrential rains devastated Texas cities all across the shoreline. Brady lives in Ingleside, Texas. Ingleside is a small town located 17 miles south of Rockport, where the eye of the hurricane hit.

In its wake, Harvey created an unprecedented amount of property damage and flooding. Brady, a retired public schoolteacher was shocked by the amount of damage.

“I began to watch fences fall down. I began to watch cars get damaged,” Brady recalled. “Things just started to blow around.”

Brady experienced $18,000 in property damage from Harvey. Much of the damage was attributed to her roof. She had a 2002 roof that was ripped apart by the winds produced by the hurricane.

After the storm left, Brady applied for a variety of grants. Among those applications was one to the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation. TRTF, the charitable arm of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), raised more than $100,000 to be paid to Harvey’s victims.

Brady received the highest grant possible from TRTF in this endeavor, $1,000, towards her roof. Brady was surprised and elated when she received the check.

“I was floored. I had something in my hand that was tangible. That was a help, and $1,000 is a help,” Brady said.

Brady was disappointed by the lack of assistance her community, and retired educators, received from the state after the natural disaster struck.

“Your soul hurts when you’re left. When the state promises us certain things, we take them at their word, and then money goes to industry and not the needs of people,” Brady said.

The city of Ingleside is still feeling the effects of Harvey’s devastation. The library is closed. A local hotel is still shut down. The convenience stores aren’t fully stocked. And some of the local workforce either moved away or had to be retrained.

“It’s still going on, and in our minds it’s going on.” Brady said.

Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of Harvey, and many communities have never fully recovered. Show your support for retired educators impacted by Harvey by donating to TRTF’s Disaster Relief Fund today!

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