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OP-ED: You can always count on Texans

John Cornyn- R (TX)

It’s been seven months since COVID-19 fundamentally changed Texans’ lives. Seven long months – and longer for some.

But what was true in March is still true today, which is that when the going gets tough, you can always count on Texans to help each other out.

Take Karlee Greer for example. After tragically losing her father to the coronavirus in April, she started Six Feet Connected, an online retailer that sells masks and t-shirts to underscore the seriousness of this deadly disease. She’s donating every single cent she makes to Marked By COVID, an organization dedicated to helping people who’ve lost loved ones to COVID-19.

There’s also a group of North Texas teens who deserve some recognition. Haroon Mohamedali of Harmony Science Academy in Carrolton started a nonprofit, Care COVID, with his parents and classmates. Care COVID aims to put together care packages for the homeless in Collin County. And with so many people out of a job through no fault of their own due to the economic impact of the virus, struggling folks need more help than ever.

The City of Brownwood has taken a particularly fishy approach to helping their struggling neighbors during the lockdown. They retrofitted their yearly Tuna Challenge to help folks dealing with food insecurity due to the pandemic. Normally, whoever donates the most cans of tuna is given the Tuna Trophy for the year, which Good Samaritan Ministries Executive Director Leesa Stephens lauds as the “Heisman of Tuna Trophies.” But with more people than ever having trouble putting food on the table, interest in this year’s Tuna Challenge skyrocketed. Their goal this year was to collect 4,000 cans, and I know they’re proud to report they ended up collecting 4,021.

And finally, while the news these days seems plenty dour, that doesn’t mean we still don’t have milestones to celebrate. On September 3rd, 99 year old Anna Jo Thomas of Lubbock was released from the hospital safe and sound after coming down with COVID-19. That’s good news under any circumstances, but it gets even better: she was released just in time to celebrate her 100th birthday with her family.

I’m reminded of a saying I heard a number of years ago: Being a Texan doesn’t describe where you’re from, it describes who your family is.

Right now folks need all the help they can get, and I’m proud Texans continue to inspire and aid their neighbors in need.

Stay safe and healthy out there, Texas. We’ll get through this.

 

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.