Memories Car Club helps put Vidor back on map

Published 4:50 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Denise Webb of Memories Car Club along with husband, Mike and son-in-law, Gabe traveled to Texas this weekend to personally give the donations collected here in Bainbridge to the church in need.

They traveled to Vidor, Texas, a smaller community outside of Houston, where between 6,000-10,000 houses still have yet to be touched since the storm. Preacher Skipper Sauls said he cannot tell people how much he appreciates it.

“People have had to get rid of everything,” Sauls said. “There is Ecoli in the water and mold sores growing in the ceiling.”

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Vidor received 54 inches of rain, which caused foundations to shift, and many homes and buildings had to be bulldozed to the ground. Oil and gas have spilled into the hay and feed, making the food inedible for animals. The horses have mostly been lapping water from the water hose.

Sauls said the thing that has been the most hurtful for them is losing all their keepsakes. Sauls’ daughter had a prayer journal where she wrote down her prayers for all her family members that was lost in the storm, which brought tears to his wife’s eyes. She lost all her children’s baby pictures and memories, things that can never be replaced.

Sauls said the loss has become too much for some and they have started to commit suicide, however Sauls has tried to keep a positive attitude. The church he preaches at was severly damaged and flooded, so he decided to take the sermon outside in order to continue giving people hope. When he was ready to preach again, Sauls realized he had no clothes to wear when giving the message. He said his entire life he’s spent giving to others, and for the first time he’s receiving. He went to the distribution center and picked up a pair of pants, a shirt and a pair of loafers two sizes too big because that was all they had.

Driving into Vidor, Webb saw refrigerators, clothes, couches and rugs in stacks at the edge of the road. There are signs posted by the government along the street telling the people not to touch it because of the contamination. The property has to be picked up by FEMA and hauled off to a special location to be burned so it does harm others, Webb said.

The church Webb donated the products to helps, along with the youth, the elderly clear out their homes because they are unable to lift and move things to the street. Most of the elderly do not have flood insurance because they did not live in a flood zone and thought this would never happen.

The church also serves between 700-900 people a day. They give the people snacks and meals that have been donated because it is the only place to find refuge at. While at the church, Webb was approached by an 8-year-old girl who asked if she could have a stuffed bear. The young girl told Webb her mother said she couldn’t go back in her room because it was dangerous and her toys were too nasty to play with.

Webb held back tears as she questioned how do you ever explain that to a child. Although it was difficult and hard to see, Webb is glad she got to give Sauls the donation in person and let him know Bainbridge is on their side. She hopes to soon be able to start collecting things for Florida and give back to them as well.