Texas Native RaeLynn on Hurricane Harvey Aftermath: ‘It’s Extremely Heartbreaking’

As the nation watches the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, our hearts collectively break for all those affected. But it truly hits home for RaeLynn, a native of Baytown, Texas where the storm hit, leaving the town practically underwater. Thankfully, her mother and father’s home escaped the damage, but sadly, the same cannot be said for her cousin, who lost nearly everything when the water reached the second story of her house. The singer is now using her platform to garner all the support possible to help those in need.

“It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen, I don’t even recognize my hometown,” RaeLynn tells Sounds Like Nashville. “It’s extremely heartbreaking and I think that any way we can raise awareness for anybody in Texas is really big.” And her local church, Celebration of Life, is doing just that. The church is serving as a sanctuary for those displaced from their homes due to the massive flooding and is already housing more than 100 refugees. RaeLynn has included a link in her Instagram bio for fans to send donations, all of which go toward the refugees.

Thousands of dollars raised have already been put toward groceries to feed those seeking shelter at the church. The singer herself plans to drive down to her hometown and bring supplies and other necessities to help those in need. She’s also in the early stages of planning a benefit concert in partnership with local radio stations in Texas. “We’re just helping out in any way that we can and just trying to help the community,” she says.

Detailing the tragic events, RaeLynn reveals that the town is so flooded it almost looks like a lake, with first responders driving boats down the street to save people stuck on their rooftops. She encourages that even if you can’t donate money, there are plenty of other ways to help. “Go through your closet and take out some things you don’t need, go through your pantry and send a box of food,” she explains. “There’s ways you can help without spending money because I can tell you there’s people that have it worse than you right now.”

But she’s not the only one in country music stepping up. Chris Young, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and Josh Abbott Band are just a few of her peers who are making considerable donations to relief efforts, an act of kindness the Texas native is grateful for. “We all have such a heart for people and such a heart for our fans and we know that a lot of people that give to us on a regular basis with our music need our help right now and I think that’s really awesome to see other artists giving the way that they are,” she says.

In spite of the heartbreaking tragedy that’s rocked her hometown, along with the cities of Houston, Corpus Christi and Rockport, RaeLynn finds the positive in the disheartening situation, saying that it’s disasters like these that bring people together in a powerful way. “I think in times of tragedy, it’s the most beautiful time for us all to stick together,” she says humbly. “With so much division in the world that we live in today, this is such a beautiful place for us all to come together and help each other and love each other and really just be the best that we can be. I think that that’s the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to this.”

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She also makes a striking point, noting that the struggles these Texas residents face are far from over. While the news is currently bombarded with coverage, the country star asks people to be mindful of the aftermath’s longevity. “Even if you can’t give today, give in a week, give when you can, because this is going to be a long term thing, we don’t know how long we’re going to have to help these refugees,” she encourages. “Any way that you’re passionate about, help. And every little bit helps.”

In addition to the Red Cross, there are several local institutions people can donate to including the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, Houston Food Bank, the United Way of Greater Houston, Texas Diaper Bank and many more.

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