As Stephens Farmhouse kicked off its “Pass the Hat Pie Day” to benefit those impacted by
Hurricane Harvey, some taking part do so with a unique perspective about just how difficult
recovery will be.

Sam Stephens, 19, and Josh Perego, 23, both employees of Stephens Farmhouse, spent nearly a
year assisting people impacted by flooding in Louisiana last August.

With knowledge about the effort and length of time needed to recover, Stephens Farmhouse
launched whatever help it could for residents of southeastern Texas.
“In two weeks or a month from now when all the media goes away, the lives of those impacted
are still going to be turned upside down,” said Jeff Stephens, store co-owner and Sam’s father.
“When there are a million people doing those small somethings, they can make a big

But with many in the position to not physically help those impacted, co-owner Cherie Stephens
said efforts like the pie drive are a way for locals to take control of a situation and do something

“I think it makes an impact, but more than anything it allows us in the community to not feel
helpless,” Cherie Stephens said. “I know a lot of people might be thinking their small amount
won’t matter, but collectively it can make a difference.”
The five-day benefit to support efforts in southeastern Texas will continue until Labor Day.
Twenty-five percent of all pie sales at Stephens will be donated to the American Red Cross.
Those wishing to make monetary donations can also call Stephens Farmhouse at 673-0406 or

As members of the AmeriCorps Pacific Region, Sam Stephens and Perego served nearly the
entirety of their 10-month term with the national disaster relief organization in Mississippi and
Louisiana, centralizing around the greater Baton Rouge area.
With most of the work occurring under miserably-humid conditions, Sam said he recalls
moments when AmeriCorps’ crew members would dump out boots filled with sweat. Gutting
insulation covered in black mold, crews with AmeriCorps relieved families living in unsafe
conditions months after the waters receded.

Despite the miserable conditions and the time away from home, Perego said it was worth it to
see the resiliency of people and the genuine good the AmeriCorps’ effort was having.
“To see how much of an effect we had on those people was special,” Perego said. “It’s seeing the
people, and no matter how devastated they were, they still managed to have a smile on their

Cherie Stephens said there was also the thought that the events transpiring in Texas today
could have easily happened to the local community in February.
“We were all sitting in the exactly the same path with the Oroville Dam,” Cherie Stephens said.
“Everything you are seeing in the news could have happened to us.”

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