On April 27, 2011, downtown Cullman, along with other areas of the state of Alabama, were hit with F4 and F5 tornadoes. Our storefront of Southern Accents, was damaged, having parts of the roof blown off and our front windows blown out. After the initial fear of the tornado had come and gone, people started coming outside to see the extent of the damage. Structures throughout our downtown area were leveled. The immediate need of everyone was overwhelming. The SA gang quickly boarded up our windows and went into the community to help any others that were in need.
For weeks after this horrific event, we were unable to conduct our normal business because we were assisting our neighbors in need. The decision of stopping our business and helping others was an act of compassion that every able body in our community did as we saw the overwhelming need through that disaster. As humans and Americans, that act of compassion of placing our neighbors first, should be what we do when a terrible event of mother nature happens, but making that choice comes with a cost. By making that choice, during the aftermath of the tornado, times were very difficult as we had to spend all of our cashflow in helping others and our business was struggling as we lost several weeks. The stress of our community being destroyed, the stress of not having revenue from our business in weeks, the stress of trying to figure out if we had to permanently shut the doors at SA – our whole existence and our future hinged on friends of SA and friends of Southern Makers helping provide for us through those hard times as we were knocked to our knees. I am writing about this personal crisis in my life today to say two things: THANK YOU for helping support SA and my family through those hard times, but we now have a current situation with a friend / fellow Southern Maker in Houston who needs our help. WE NEED YOU!!!
Many in the Houston, Texas, and surrounding areas, are dealing with the disastrous aftermath of hurricane Harvey including our good friend and fellow maker, Travis Weaver of Manready Mercantile. I called Tuesday morning to check on our friend. We were thankful to hear that Travis’s shop escaped the flood. Unfortunately, many of his surrounding neighbors did not. Luckily, Travis has a shop equipped with showers and has running water still so he has turned his store into a first responders station and a point for area drop-off donations of supplies for his community. Unlike the tornado we had in Alabama in 2011 – Houston’s nightmare flooding will continue to see the devastation for weeks as the waters subside. From what Travis has shared with me, an immediate need for folks in this area is toiletries and small hygiene necessities that most of us take for granted. Many of the stores in the area are flooded. The ones who have been able to remain open have had their inventory depleted. Any remaining supplies are being rationed until more can arrive. While Travis would never ask us for help, knowing from first hand experience, the toll mother nature takes on a small business makes it unable to operate under normal circumstances. The only thing you should worry about is helping others, and hopefully the business will survive later. As I was on the phone with Travis, I felt his stress and I remembered the feeling of wanting to help my community, but saw all of my savings being depleted to support my SA family – knowing the day was coming where I would not be able to pay my workers and my debt. That feeling of hopelessness is something that a small business owner should never feel – especially when they are placing the needs of others first in a time of crisis. Without all of you coming to purchase items and allowing us to get them to you when we were able – SA could not have made it.
The Southern Makers Family and Southern Accents Family want YOU to unite with us to help our friend. Therefore, we are reaching out to everyone that loves SA and our fellow Southern Makers family to provide information on two paths of action you can do to help Houston and/or Travis.
- An immediate need for many in this area is toiletries. Travis is accepting donations of needed items at his brick and mortar store which is the local drop off. Travis will be transporting donated items in his company van to various areas for distribution. A detailed list of needed items is listed to your right. Please box all donated items and mark the boxes with #SouthernMakersWithHouston.
- You can support Travis’s business, during this time of need, by shopping with him online. When checking out, in the special instructions box, type in #SouthernMakersWithHouston. This code will let Travis know that your purchase is your way of helping out a brother in need and that you are in NO hurry for your order to be filled and shipped. Once things settle down and Travis can reopen his business, he will be able to fill and ship all orders. This request is NOT coming from Travis. This is an idea that friends of Southern Makers came up with as a way to help keep his business continue to stay focused on his community. Whether your purchase is large or small, please take action and help our fellow maker. Without your support in 2011, Southern Accents would not be here today. So, please visit him online at Manready Mercantile.
- Finally, and this one should be at the top of our list, pray. The worst is yet to come for all in the affected areas. Please join us as we lift our brothers and sisters up in prayer.
Please help spread the word by sending this email to friends as well as sharing this on your social media accounts.
Current view of Travis’s store.
Supplies for Harvey victims are being dropped off at Manready Mercantile! The most needed items are:
feminine hygiene products
first aid supplies
and any other small items and toiletries that fill basic needs.
If there’s anything else along these lines, we’re sure they’ll take them. Keep the supplies coming and they will be dropped off! God bless Texas!
The address for the drop off point for supplies is
321 W 19th Street
Houston Heights, Texas 77008.
They do ask that you do not bring or send any clothing at this time.
We will be passing along updates from Travis as we receive them. Please feel free to forward this information to anyone who may be looking for a way to help.Updates will be posted on Southern Makers Instagram page @southernmakers.
Travis Pictured below: