Harvey Brings Deja Vu for Katrina Survivor

By Elizabeth Ruiz

It’s deja vu for a woman who was forced to evacuate her home in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit 12 years ago. Now Susan Messmer and her daughter have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. Both times, the Salvation Army was there to help.

“Twelve years ago, I was pregnant with Ava and I had to evacuate to Virginia. I actually had Ava while I was there,” said Messmer.

She’s grateful for the help she received from the Salvation Army.

“They helped buy baby clothes and they helped me have a safe place to give birth to my child,” she said.

Their lives recently were turned upside down when Hurricane Harvey flooded their Houston-area home, but once again, the Salvation Army was there to help.

“They gave us gift cards for food and cleaning supplies. They fed our community in Kingwood,” said Messmer.

Saturday, she and her 12-year-old daughter Ava were special guests at the Salvation Army’s fundraising luncheon and style show at the Omni Hotel.

Ava got the surprise of her life when she was asked to take a walk on the runway and she looked like a pro.

“I want to be a model, so being up there was a dream come true, honestly,” said Ava.

What was she thinking when she heard the applause and cheers from the crowd?

“Okay, well this is amazing!”


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