Katrina Brings Out the Best in Bexar County!
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
September 8, 2005
In a world often filled with tragedy, it is good to know that there are so many big-hearted people in Bexar County! In a my visit last Monday to the former Montgomery Wards at the old Windsor Mall, my wife Karen and I were amazed at the stream of vehicles bringing items to donate as we headed into the mall parking lot. In essence, what we saw Sunday was a united front for our fellow brothers and sisters in distress!
Upon entering the property, we noticed a well-organized team of outstanding individuals beginning with a Deputy Constable for Precinct Four at the gate. In charge of this facility was Deputy Chief to Sheriff Ralph Lopez, Henry Martinez. He was ably assisted by San Antonio Firefighters and Deputies to Constables Mike Blount and Jimmy Willborn.
A healthy array of services was being provided to the Katrina victims including the following in full swing:
- A barber shop/beauty shop
- A medical Station
- A playground, including a basketball court; toys and books for the children
- Showers being constructed by volunteer carpenters and firefighters
- A pantry with all kinds of donated canned goods
- A well-stocked clothing department
- School registration for the children
- Security provided by the Sheriff and our various Constable Offices
- And most importantly 2,000 to 3,000 generally happy people, given what they have been through!
In effect, what we witnessed was a veritable city being built to accommodate our guests from New Orleans.
Windsor Mall was one thing, but in the community outside the Mall, the efforts are amazing. The Heavy Weight Gym, IHOP, Community of Churches for Social Action (a consortium of African-American Churches dedicated to social action), the HEB stores, countless other churches, Office Max and you name it! It has been as though everyone considers the Katrina victims to be priority number one!
My wife and I also decided to check out the situation at the former Kelly Air Force Base. It had been the launching off point for many of the victims. Some very touching "Welcome" signs were attached to the fence by Kelly Elementary students facing General Hudnell for the victims to see.
And perhaps one of the most interesting of developments as a result of the tragedy of Katrina: A community united to help our brothers and sisters and one incapable of failing to count its blessings at a time like this.