Bridgette Mongeon didn’t let Hurricane Harvey and its devastation keep her down. She immediately began helping by opening a communications conduit through social media matching needs with resources.
“We are a long way from having this over. Some people still live in houses that are unsafe and debris is everywhere,” said Mongeon. “There are just not enough supplies to be able to help everyone. We need items such as packaging tape, bleach, paper towels and more in bulk. A list of the needs that we are collecting and distributing can be found at this link. Send them to us or even call us and we will find a way to get them here. They will make it to the hard hit areas by any means of transportation necessary.”
Mongeon worries about the aftermath.
“In a September 13th interview on local NBC station, the mayor of Houston ‘estimates there is eight million cubic yards of Harvey-related waste to remove.’ Much of this waste is getting more toxic by the day. They don’t have enough trucks or landfill. The streets and even ditches in front of houses are meant to water away from homes. Should more rain come with all of the waste, or worse yet another storm, I fear Houston will literally be sunk.”
Sadly, Hurricane Harvey wasn’t the first tragedy to hit the 2006 UI&U graduate’s family this year.
“My daughter lost her home and pet in a house fire in February. It has given us extra compassion and sort of ‘in the trench’ experience to help everyone else,” said Mongeon. “We are still healing from the fire. My daughter’s writing about that on a blog called Stronger Than Fire. The blog is now being shared with those who lost everything due to Harvey- after all, the loss is very similar.”
Mongeon, an artist that specializes in figurative sculpture of individuals is the owner of B. Mongeon Sculpture Design Studio said her studio suffered some casualty. “My art studio suffered some damage. A new roof is being put on the studio tomorrow. I can hardly believe I found someone. My incredible interns helped clean and dried all of the wet things for me. But this is minimal compared to the total devastation that is our area and that so many of my friends and family have suffered.”
She credits her degree from Union for accelerating her career.
“My work at Union has brought me far in my career as an artist and a writer. My book on 3D Technology in Fine Art and Craft was a number one new release on Amazon. I’m about to have the largest commission of my career installed at a park in Texas – a sculpture of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Tea Party,” said Mongeon. “I’ll be the keynote speaker at the Texas Art Education Conference in November.”
But today isn’t a day to reflect on success.
“It is hard to focus on anything but recovery, my own and the Southern part of Texas.”