Disaster can bring out the best in humanity.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have passed, leaving trails of devastation and destruction in their wake. Recovery from both storms will take months, if not years, but around the world, everyday people are stepping up to help out friends, neighbors, and strangers however they can.
After Harvey, we collected a list of 11 examples of hurricane heroism. Now that both storms have run their course, here's a look at 16 more spectacular gestures of kindness. Each one is a testament to the generosity of the human spirit and a reminder that when bad things happen, there will always be ways we can help.
This photo shows people in Texas after Hurricane Harvey. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
1. A group of Syrian refugees living in Georgia delivered home-cooked meals to Irma evacuees.
They knew what it was like to need the help of others and just wanted to give back.
What happens when the tables of vulnerability are turned? You never know when you'll need them instead. Beautiful... https://t.co/TllfUFQKYc— Dr. Omar Suleiman (@Dr. Omar Suleiman) 1505255371
2. A group of helpful neighbors came to the rescue of one Ormond Beach, Florida, woman, saving her personal belongings from a collapsing house.
In Irma’s wake, a wave of neighborly love in Ormond Beach. https://t.co/dPaPo2SkTK https://t.co/1KU8LfD9NY— Daytona Beach News-Journal (@Daytona Beach News-Journal) 1505302202
3. NBC's Kerry Sanders was reporting from Marco Island when he spotted another man helping two beached baby dolphins.
The dramatic rescue was caught on film.
WATCH: “I think it was the one good moment people could have amid all the devastation.” @KerryNBC talks about yeste… https://t.co/AJdFOeMaU6— TODAY (@TODAY) 1505217360
4. Kimberly Gager of San Antonio put her extreme couponing skills to great use to help people who were hit by Hurricane Harvey.
She began saving coupons she would have ordinarily thrown away, using them to buy diapers, formula, and other baby supplies, which she donated.
Texas woman uses her coupon clipping skills to help hurricane survivors. "If you need supplies, let me know."… https://t.co/3BNhaJL2z8— ABC News (@ABC News) 1505370432
5. Florida's Islamorada Beer Company got to work bottling water, raising money, and transporting supplies down to the Florida Keys to help people hit by Irma.
If the beer tastes a little watered down, that's because it is.
6. Mike and Kathy Merrill of Florida Urgent Rescue pulled double duty, helping save dogs displaced by both Harvey and Irma.
7. Blink-182's Mark Hoppus recorded a song called "Not Every Dog Goes to Heaven" for the ASPCA benefit album "Dog Songs."
Profits from the album will help the ASPCA save dogs affected by Hurricane Harvey. Rock on, Mark.
Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Turner Sports.
8. A collection of sailors and cruisers joined up to help islands hit by Irma. They call themselves Sailors Helping.
They're working in conjunction with local government and volunteer groups to facilitate immediate aid. In the long term, they're planning a Rally to Rebuild, in which hundreds of boaters will bring a habitat-for-humanity style armada of boats and volunteers to various islands hit by Hurricane Irma.
Image courtesy of Tory Fine/Sailors Helping.
9. Remember the heartwarming story about a man who gave up the last generator at a Florida store? When one became available later that day, the store's manager gave it to the generous stranger for free.
A good deed is its own reward, but this certainly helps too.
10. As Irma evacuees made their way out of Florida, one Georgia man decided to throw them a cookout.
Chad Harrison of Valdosta, Georgia, was a sight for sore eyes for hungry people fleeing Florida. In total, he was able to help feed around 2,000 evacuees.
A Georgia man holds a cookout for Florida evacuees. https://t.co/ATK46CbahJ https://t.co/RPKvwBZOL1— Inside Edition (@Inside Edition) 1505093409
11. A billionaire immigrant named Kieu Hoang donated $5 million to Harvey relief efforts, saying, "We are all American."
This might be one of the largest (if not the largest) individual donations anyone's made in response to the recent hurricanes.
Mayor @SylvesterTurner accepts gracious donation from Hoàng Kiều $5M to hurricane #Harvey relief fund https://t.co/dmgCGBK3Cz— City of Houston (@City of Houston) 1505160628
12. Millionaire Marc Bell opened up his $30 million, 27,000-square-foot home to 70 foster kids affected by Irma.
Bell says he got a call from SOS Children's Village Florida with a request for help after they'd been kicked out of their shelters. Bell offered up his home.
"We've been thrilled to have them": Millionaire Marc Bell opened up $30M mansion to 70 foster kids displaced by Irma https://t.co/XakVk7ZWnM— CNN (@CNN) 1505362083
13. Animal control, along with a few brave neighbors, helped rescue five dogs trapped in fire-ant-infested waters in Lakeland, Florida.
People helping people helping doggos are the best kind of people.
BREAKING UPDATE: Animal Control says they will rescue several dogs left alone during #HurricaneIrma. WFLA Melissa Marino is live with the update. http://bit.ly/2wVBLuAPosted by WFLA News Channel 8 on Monday, September 11, 2017
14. Royal Caribbean cruise line sent two of its ships to Caribbean islands hit by Irma to help evacuees, and Norwegian Cruise Line sent a ship to St. Thomas packed with supplies.
After canceling numerous cruises due to the storm, the vacation companies had a bit of free time on their hands.
We're matching donations up to $1M to help with #IrmaRecovery. Here's how you can help too: https://t.co/Dj3TsCuEPI https://t.co/Ui5SmzE1Md— Royal Caribbean (@Royal Caribbean) 1505409733
15. When Irma left a group of manatees stranded near Whitfield, Florida, a group of locals helped move the majestic sea cows back into the water.
Hurricane Irma strands manatees in Sarasota Bay as residents rush to the rescue, pulling them back into water… https://t.co/A3Wib3XyeF— CBS News (@CBS News) 1505093701
16. After taking home first place at the DreamHack Montreal Street Fighter V tournament, professional gamer Du Dang donated his $10,000 in winnings to Irma relief efforts.
Originally from Tampa, he wanted to give back to his hometown during its time of need.
1st place at DreamHack Montreal! Donating all of my winnings towards hurricane Irma relief. Thank you for your supp… https://t.co/p9aWWZ8f61— Du Dang (@Du Dang) 1505073304
It's easy to think of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma as being disasters that are now behind us, but the truth is that the real work is just beginning.
As the above examples demonstrate, there are a lot of really unique and creative ways to help out in the storms' aftermath. If you're looking for a way to get involved in the relief efforts, here's a great place to get started.