Why I’m Helping To Rebuild Houston

Strong and generous people fill many US cities. New Yorkers pulled together in the wake of 9/11. Bostonians rallied and supported each other following the marathon attack. New Orleanians regrouped and rebuilt after the devastation of Katrina.

But Houstonians are special. Not just the ones who have been here for generations, like me. I mean the ones who arrived last week or last year. Yes, we’re the most diverse city in the nation, but the Houston culture drenches all of us, rapidly, just like Harvey did.

Houstonians “just do it.” We don’t ask if it can be done or how it can be done. We see what’s possible, and we jump in to make it happen. We’re builders and inventors, and we take joy in creation.

People ask why anyone would want to live in a place with challenges like flooding, humidity, and sprawl. Houstonians don’t see these as barriers; we see them as opportunities to create something new and better. My fellow architecture students at MIT asked me why I wanted to practice architecture in Houston, rather than a city like Boston with a history of attention to design. My response: Which city offers more opportunity to make a difference?

Houstonians don’t slow down when faced with a challenge like Harvey; we switch into high gear. I think my priest called every member of our parish over the last two weeks while organizing work groups, free dinners, and prayer services. Houston Public Library immediately created a child care center for City employees so the City workers could take on extra public service responsibilities.

Here at Page, we organized to provide rapid assessments and recommendations for our clients’ properties, while providing pizza and movies for our kids in the conference room. We didn’t wait for someone to tell us what was needed; we saw it, and made it happen.

People say Houston has a “can-do” attitude. I say Houstonians don’t waste time with attitudes; we just make it happen.

Wendy Heger, Page Associate Principal / Client Development Director