Holidays for Hurricane Victims: Spring Hill Embraces Houston Family Displaced by Harvey

Middle Tennesseans are known for being generous and kind, especially during the holiday season. One family from Texas is discovering just how bighearted our neighbors can be.

The couple and their three-year old daughter were flooded out of their Houston apartment due to Hurricane Harvey this summer. Cristopher Madrigal, his wife Kenia Osuna, and their daughter Elise were left without a place to stay and just two bags of their possessions.

That’s when they found Marco and Betsy Pangallo of Spring Hill. The Pangallos were perusing a Facebook group, Texas Welcomes You In, that was set up to aid Harvey victims. They saw the family’s plight, and after a long phone conversation, the Pangallos offered to host Cristopher, Kenia, and Elise in their Spring Hill home.

The family obtained some donated bus tickets and made their way to Tennessee. Once they settled in at the Pangallos’ home, the community sprang into action. A local preschool donated a scholarship for Elise. Area businesses and church groups have stepped up to raise money and obtain donated clothing, gift cards, and even a bed for the youngster. Others are helping Osuna update her resume and find job interviews. A local doctor even offered to provide medical services pro bono to Cristopher, who is suffering from an immunological disorder that prevents him from working.

So perhaps it’s not surprising that the family has decided not to return to Texas but to put down roots in Spring Hill instead. Osuna said that everyone in the town has been so nice and that her family feels very welcome. Betsy Pangallo said, “Our goal together is to help them find independence and life here again in Spring Hill. To start life over, one day at a time, one step at a time.”

We at Platinum Holiday Lighting are proud to be a part of the Middle Tennessee communities. We love the caring spirit and the can-do attitude of the people here, and we’re always willing to extend our hand to neighbors or strangers in need. And helping others is truly the most important part of the holiday season.