Photo:  Holly Bush runs Holly’s Cookie Corner out of her home as a cottage business. She was one of the new vendor booths at Taste of the Holidays Tuesday benefitting Orange County Disaster Rebuild.

RECORD PHOTO: Penny LeLeux

 

Penny LeLeux

For The Record

The 2nd annual Taste of the Holidays was held Tuesday at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center benefitting Orange County Disaster Rebuild. The event was created last year to raise money to help Tropical Storm Harvey flood victims rebuild their homes. A huge success last year, it raised about $6,500 according to Michelle Tubbleville, executive director of Orange County Disaster Rebuild.  In the wake of Tropical Storm Imelda they hope to raise more this year.

“We’ve sold about 10 more tickets than last year,” said Tubbleville about an hour before the event. “The night’s not over, so we will let you know if we sell out.” Tickets were still available online at the time. She said last year they sold over 100 tickets on the day of the event.  At the time of the interview they were sitting at about 377 tickets sold. A sell out is 400.

For only $25 participants filled their bellies with samplings from restaurants located all over Orange County including: Lucy’s Cafe and Bakery- Orange; Small Bites @ Lucy’s- Orange; Market Basket Stores- Orange County; Fresh Prep- Bridge City; Spanky’s Restaurant- Orange; Boardwalk Grill- Orange; The Hut- Orange; Holly’s Cookie Corner- Bridge City; Tuffy’s Eatery- Mauriceville; Schnitzel- Vidor; Tropicana Ice Cream Parlor- Bridge City; Dough Dough Girls- Orangefield; Southern Charm Restaurant-Orange; Reel Cajun Restaurant- Orange; Jumping Bean-Orange; Burger Town- Orangefield; Cakes Plus- Mauriceville; Cajun Works-Vidor; Mission Grounds Coffee-Vidor; Ricky’s- Bridge City; Mikes Diner- Orange; Tacos El Primo-Orange; and Dickeys BBQ- Orange.

Entertainment was provided by Gulf Coast Cajun Band.

“We’ve helped over 300 families in the year and a half since we’ve been established,” she said.

Orange County Disaster Rebuild was created after Tropical Storm Harvey devastated the area in 2017.  

“It was established in May 2018,” said Tubbleville.

Orange County was the third hardest hit according to the federal register. Seventy- five percent of Orange County was affected and only 12% had flood insurance.

Orange County Disaster Rebuild is dedicated to helping those who were uninsured or underinsured from natural and man-made disasters in Orange County. 

“We’ve provided furniture, septic system rebuilds and repairs, medical needs. If they needed dentures or something they lost in the storm, we try to replace those things, so any kind of unmet need that was related to Harvey and now Imelda. That’s what we do,” said Tubbleville.  “This money (from the event) is not restricted, so we are able to use it during any storm. When we get grants, we have those that are restricted.”

“This is our main moneymaker right now. We are planning some other events, so we are going to announce those pretty quick,” she said. “We are trying to finalize those before we say what we are doing, but we are excited that this is happening.”

If you need help, please call the disaster case management hotline, 2-1-1, and take option 1.  Give them your information and they will pass that information to a case management team that will call you back to set up an appointment to walk you through the process of recovery.

If your home has been damaged or destroyed in a state declared disaster and you meet the following qualifications, they may be able to assist you:

*Low Income

*Own your home

*This is your primary residence

*Under or uninsured at the time of the disaster

Recovery can take time, and the dedicated people with OCDR want to help. They will work with you to figure out your home needs and organizes volunteers, materials and supplies to get your home built.

If you would like to donate or volunteer your time, you can sign up on their website: www.ocdisasterrebuild.com.