OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - An effort is underway to provide more of a sense of normalcy to Texans in the aftermath of Harvey. The effort is called Comeback Coolers, and this is different from other donation drives. The goal is to get cold beer into the hands of weary storm victims.
Organizer Heather Eason said the idea for this somewhat unorthodox recovery effort came to her when she was thinking about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
"After several days my mother showed up in a truck and she opened up an ice chest full of cold beer and we had our first drink of cold beer in days and it's something that none of us will ever forget," said Eason.
She wanted to make sure that people working through the aftermath of Harvey had a similar story. So, while each cooler is packed with the essentials, like water, food, and other non-perishables, most of the coolers are loaded with a special gift for the adults who are trying to deal with the devastation: cases of beer. And the thought is striking a chord with many people here on the coast.
"A lot of people that need a nice cold beer," said Frank Stumbo while packing a cooler.
"It kind of just sets things apart and then they have a moment to just stop and be thankful instead of thinking about all the devastation they're going through," said Jennifer George.
Eason said the comeback coolers effort started in Baton Rouge last year after the historic flooding. She said this time around, there's even more of a response. And even more beer.
Each cooler also has special messages written on it including Scripture and inspiration in one form or another.
"They're in a hard time at the moment, so they'll have something to look forward to," Gabby Dudley said while writing a decorative God Bless Texas on the top of one of the coolers.
Local artists and photographers are also selling their work to help with the effort including Craig Brumfield and Fred Salinas.
Another cooler packing party is scheduled for Saturday, September 9 at Val's in Ocean Springs. You're invited to donate and help with the effort.