The devastation Hurricane Harvey left in its wake is overwhelming, but so is the love Texans have for their state. Houston native and Younger star Hilary Duff's Hurricane Harvey essay for Marie Claire is a beautiful example of hometown pride, and a call to action for all Americans to help the people of Texas begin the recovery process. The Lizzie McGuire actor wrote poignantly about her childhood growing up in a close-knit Houston neighborhood and how those same people, including her father and god-sister, are doing everything necessary to survive in the aftermath of the storm.
Duff's heartbreak over being so far from home while her friends and family deal with an unthinkable reality is clear. She wrote,
"Being so many miles away from home and watching the news about Hurricane Harvey from sunny California feels completely unjust. How can a whole city be turned into a lake? How is it possible that my god-sister and her two small babies have been evacuated from their home by canoe? Did my dad really call to tell me that they're running low on food and had to eat chocolate chip cookies for dinner?"
Even in the face of so much tragedy, the resiliency of the people of Texas seems to be unwavering. As Duff said, "People are brave. People dig deep, and find strength they never knew they had when faced with a monstrous challenge. Taking on the responsibility of a hero is no small feat—and that's what these people are: heroes."
Resilient though they may be, the people affected by Hurricane Harvey need everyone's help, and Duff uses her essay to implore people to step up in Texas' time of need. Her call to action is one her state can be proud of. Duff wrote,
"We live in a world where we treat ourselves because we can. We take the comfort of our own beds for granted. But disasters like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma are important reminders that if you deprive yourself of something small—that extra cocktail, that on-sale t-shirt—and use the money to help others, it can really make a difference in someone's life."
The actor's love for her hometown is fierce. Duff may be best known for acting on TV and in movies, but the candidacy on display in her essay makes it clear she should be recognized for her big heart as well. Texas helped form the actor, just as it has helped form so many other people. Now, Houston and all of the other towns and cities affected by Harvey need a helping hand. And giving back is so much easier than many people realize.
In her essay, Duff points readers to several organizations that are accepting donations. There's the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, the Houston Food Bank, and more. No matter where you are, making just a small sacrifice could mean the world to the people who are grappling with the loss of their homes. As Duff wrote, "You never know when this will be you."