The Czech Republic lent a helping hand to La Grange families affected by the devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Brian Vanicek is the Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic to State of Texas, “The decision was unanimous on their part rather than to split their donations, they decided to direct five million crowns to the State of Texas, to the community of La Grange,” he said at a check presentation ceremony Friday.
Fayette County is called the “Cradle of Immigration” has a long line of Czech ancestry, so much the Central European country officials took action when they heard Hurricane Harvey was hitting Texas. “There were almost in immediate contact with us in the consulate office wanting to know if there was anything they could do,” Vanicek said.
Vanicek presented the community with a check for $237,437. Czech officials decided they wanted to choose the La Grange area to pick funding, because they felt it was somewhere that was going a little unnoticed with all of the damage from Harvey. “It's very gratifying for me personally the fact that the government of the Czech Republic was able to select this community and hopefully will make a positive difference,” Vanicek said.
“We have probably 200 families that will never get back into their homes and so those families are going to need a place to live so that's what this group is focusing on,” Joy Cameron is the Interim President for the La Grange Area Disaster Recovery team, a new group put together in the aftermath of Harvey. She said they have gotten an outpouring of support from the community, but need specific donations as they move into the second stage of recovery. “Things like building materials, sheet rock, roofing material, plywood, those are the types of things that we are starting to get in now.” Cameron said there's still a lot of work needing to be done so they are always looking for volunteers, and monetary donations.