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Babineauxs return to Port Arthur to help

September 14, 2017 GMT

Jordan and Jonathan Babineaux returned to their family home in Port Arthur last week to find debris and flood damage.

The two brothers, who grew up together in the city that was heavily flooded by Harvey, each played in the National Football League. When the Babineauxs saw their community was in need after Harvey, they decided a trip home was essential.

The brothers arranged a Harvey relief event through the Babineaux Family Foundation on Wednesday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Port Arthur, just blocks from where they graduated from Port Arthur-Lincoln High School.

“This is their home, and they want to help so much,” said Jean Babineaux-Bergeron, sister of Jordan and Jonathan. “They want to show this community that they remember them and they know what they’re going through.”

About 100 residents filed into the church to collect food, clothing and other free supplies. Many came wearing Babineaux jerseys and shirts.


Ellen Johnson lost her apartment at Legacy Senior Housing in Port Arthur, where the entire first floor flooded. She has been living with family members since evacuating, and said it’s a “godsend” to have the Babineauxs helping residents like her.

“They don’t have to do something like this, but they do it anyway because they want to help us out,” Johnson said. “To have people who made it as professional athletes think of us is pretty special.”

The Babineauxs experienced the strength of Harvey firsthand. Barbara Babineaux, mother of Jean, Jordan and Jonathan, was rescued in a boat from her home along with Jean by volunteers as water flooded the house. Jordan and Jonathan returned to Port Arthur last week to help empty their former home and others like it in the city.

“I think it was very overwhelming for them knowing that we had to be rescued,” Barbara said. “Then to see the city that they grew up in devastated I think was heartbreaking.”

Supplies handed out at the church on Wednesday were donated by Jonathan and the Atlanta Falcons. The former second-round pick in 2005 spent his entire career as a defensive tackle with the Falcons.

Three more truckloads of supplies are expected to come this weekend from Jordan and the Seattle Seahawks. Jordan played seven of his nine years as a NFL safety with Seattle and works on the Seahawks’ radio broadcast.

He set up a Harvey relief fund, which will allow the Emergency Feeding Program in Seattle to purchase supplies that will go directly to residents in Port Arthur and surrounding areas. The goal is to raise $100,000.

“This is very important to them,” Jean said of her brothers. “They know this community made them, so they want to give back and show how appreciative they are.”