All Hands and Hearts

Strength is not a characteristic unfamiliar to the Avila family. Having survived yet another hurricane, Isaac Avila warmly welcomed the All Hands Volunteers crew that was onsite removing tree debris from his family’s home post Hurricane Harvey.

Isaac offered water, and coffee, and introduced the volunteers to his dancing, music-loving bird, who also survived the hurricane.

This day, however, was different. This was Isaac’s birthday, and his uplifting spirit – despite the storm, infused the volunteer crew with positivity.

Isaac, who lives together with his sister, Norma Castillo, and their 93-year-old mother, Cecilia Avila, came from a strong foundation. Having welcomed volunteers from other organizations in the past due to prior hurricanes, Isaac was protective of his home and of his family. His family’s home, a symbol of their resilience, strength and love, was built by Isaac’s grandfather years ago. Isaac believes their home, much like their family, is still standing after numerous hurricanes because his grandfather built it with bolts, instead of nails.

The All Hands Volunteers crew spent the day with the Avila family, entertained by Isaac’s dancing bird, but more moved by the strength and resilience of his family, and the story behind the nuts and bolts that housed and protected them. After a job well done, and approved by Isaac himself, the crew headed off to the next home. But as they loaded their gear into the truck, they walked a little taller and smiled a little wider – thanks to one kind family that is clearly built to last.

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