Houston couple flooded by Harvey gives back to the orphans who inspired them through their rebuilding

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Imagine an orphanage that is halfway around the world in the country of Uganda.

It's an unlikely place to find hope, but for one Houston couple, it was their guiding light after the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey receded. More than eight months later, Rachel Gower and Brian Williard are still piecing their lives back together, but they're proving it doesn't matter what you have, there is always a way to give back.

Now, they're hoping to heal Houston by helping the children of Uganda with their charity "Houganda."

Ninety minutes was all the time Gower and Williard had to pack up their things and get out before the floodwaters of Harvey washed away most of their lives.
"You get up in the morning, every day you go to work --and we all work so hard-- and you think, 'How am I going to make my life better today? How am I going to make my family's life better today?' And you don't think that one day you're gonna wake up and it's all gonna be gone," Gower said of Harvey's devastation. "You're starting completely from scratch and it's a really, really depressing feeling."

Like a whole lot of Houstonians flooded out, the cleanup from Harvey consumed their days and haunted their nights.

"It was about three in the morning. I couldn't sleep because I was worried about everything and I opened up Facebook and I saw this photo, this post going down my feed and it was these children in Uganda that were holding a sign that said they were praying for people in Texas," Williard said of the first time he saw the now viral photo.

The photo, a ray of hope, from halfway around the world from the Good Care Children Ministry. It was a group of children who had nothing but were willing to give everything in prayer.

"Whenever we were having a particularly bad day, we would always refer back to it because there were people in the world who had it far worse off than we did and it kind of put the situation into perspective," said Williard. "It inspired us and now hopefully we can help them."
At the orphanage, they too had a water issue of their own. Whereas Houston had too much, these kids had too little, trekking miles for drinking water, often contaminated and unsafe.

Now, Rachel and Brian have set an ambitious goal. Their goal is to raise $1 million by the end of August as a gift back to the children who helped them through so much.

The charity is called "Houganda."

In the meantime, they haven't forgotten about needy Houstonians and so they're asking for a pretty doable donation of just $4.

The couple says if we all do a small part, we can unite and heal together.

"These kids have it so much worse off than we do and they face challenges we can't even comprehend, so if we can somehow as a city come together and help them, I think it would help bring a little bit of closure to the storm," said Williard.

If you want to get involved and donate to the Houganda charity to bring clean drinking water, educational tools and clothes to the children of the Good Care Children Ministry, donate here or text "dreambig" to 41444.
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