As we approach the one-year anniversary of the historic Hurricane Harvey floods, the Willow Fork Drainage District is presenting a series of 10 stories honoring the heroic efforts made by members of our community during that difficult time. This is story #2.
KATY (Covering Katy News) — As people saw last year, Hurricane Harvey brought out the worst in nature. At the same time, it brought out the best in people, as Nicholas Doherty, of Supply Bridge Ministries in Katy, demonstrated.
“When Harvey hit, there was so much devastation in and around the area,” Mary Holeman of Katy Rocks, a nonprofit music organization, said. “People would go to churches and drop off things, such as cleaning supplies. He’d create and deliver supply kits, including people with young kids. Diapers, things like that.”
Doherty described himself as “not one to sit around and watch things happen,” preferring instead to go out and explore.
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“I did the same thing after Hurricane Ike (2008),” Doherty said. “I tried to find places where I could help out. As the storm was kind of ramping up at the end, I started gathering things and putting stuff up on shelves.”
As he and his family did so, Doherty said, they realized that they had things that didn’t really matter to them, but would make a big difference to others. They loaded up bags of clothes and he took them to Morton Ranch High School, 21000 Franz Road, which had been established as a shelter for those flooded out of their homes.
“When I walked in the door there, one of my church families was there,” Doherty said. “It (the relief work) just grew from there.”
One of Doherty’s Cy Springs High School classmates runs a local nonprofit, and she reached out to Doherty to discuss combining their relief efforts.
They solicited donations and volunteers through social media. Then, he picked up the donations and delivered them to the high school.
He also put out a call for donations to be delivered to his company, NBD Graphics, 917 South Mason.
At one point, Doherty said, he had a list of 40-50 distribution centers that he would review daily. He wanted to see what centers were still open, what they had, and what they needed.
“There was a lot of structure to it, but it was all thrown together,” Doherty said. “It all kind of came together.”
Doherty and his fellow volunteers, including those at West I-10 Volunteer Fire Department, 22125 Kingsland Blvd., continued their relief work. But things started settling down, and people returned to their pre-Harvey routines. The base began to dwindle.
Doherty formed Supply Bridge Ministries in November to give people an opportunity to continue helping others.
And not just in the Katy area, either. One Saturday, Doherty recalled, he got a call from his friend Leah Martinez, of BrandAid Consulting, an Internet marketing company in Katy. She expressed concerns about flooding in South Texas and people needing help. The following Friday, Doherty said, a truck full of supplies was headed there.
When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last September, Holeman said, Doherty helped gather supplies to be delivered to the island.
“I had a nonprofit in my heart for years, but I just didn’t know what it looked like,” Doherty said. “Hurricane Harvey revealed it to me, so to speak.”
In one case, Holeman said, Doherty delivered furniture to a family that had lost everything in the floods.
Doherty is a member of the Board of Elders at Katy Lutheran Church. With his father, Delisle, he’s active in the Christian Business Fellowship Association.
“He was helping to get supplies to disaster-affected areas because they need these materials right away,” Holeman said. “It was so amazing. Whenever disaster occurs he’s ready to reach out,” Holeman said. “He’s just one of those kinds of people.”
With Harvey, Holeman said, it was about helping neighbors.
“It’s not about what you get but what you give back,” Holeman said. “This is a well-deserved recognition for him. He put the community first.”
Martinez described Doherty as “awesome” and, like Holeman, nominated Doherty for recognition.
“He is constantly willing to help anyone and everyone, no questions asked,” Martinez said. “He unloaded trucks, delivered items everywhere. I just think he’s very deserving.”
Doherty said Supply Bridge continues to accept donations. Most needed are first aid kits, diaper cream, sunscreen, lip balm, bug spray, mouthwash, adult socks, and single load laundry detergent packs.
The Supply Bridge Ministries web site is https://www.supplybridgeministries.org/.
The Willow Fork Drainage District is celebrating Harvey’s Heroes at an event set for 6:30 p.m. September 21 at Central Green Park, 21350 Cinco Ranch Blvd. The event will feature awards, celebrity presentations and live music with IDC, Nicole Heaston Lane, Steff Neff, and Sam Smith.
The district continues to accept Harvey’s Heroes nominations. E-mail your nominations to email@example.com. For more information, visit http://willowforkdrainagedistrict.com/central-green/events/harvey-heroes/.