Earlier this week I drove up to Hubbard Furniture in Denison, where owner Marcus Hubbard was donating all of his remaining pieces to the Salvation Army for flooding victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Hubbard began working at the business, which was started by his father and grandfather in 1948, when he was just 14 and now, after 54 years, he has decided to close the store and move on to a new chapter of his life. With a new owner already lined up and the store keys set to switch hands at the start of October, Hubbard decided to give his remaining merchandise, an entire showroom floor’s worth, to those affected by the storm to begin rebuilding their homes.

Hubbard donated all kinds of items, including dressers, bedding, artwork, television sets and appliances. But one piece of furniture in particular stuck out to me: a kitchen table.

Growing up, my family almost always sat down together for dinner at the kitchen table. As a kid, I didn’t understand the importance of being together for a meal and even as I got older I didn’t always appreciate the time it gave me with my mom, dad and sister.

All these years later, I now know that kitchen table kept us close and gave us the space to share and sort out our lives.

Sadly, there are thousands of families in Southeast Texas who are returning to damaged and destroyed homes. And it may very well be months if not years before they’re able to fully restore their homes or settle into new ones.

While aid agencies say financial donations are the most helpful and flexible in the aftermath of a natural disaster and I encourage others to give to organizations accordingly, Hubbard gave at least one family the opportunity to reconnect and regain some sense of normalcy with that single table.

The last question I asked Hubbard was what he thought his father and grandfather might say about the decision to close the shop and give everything away. Hubbard said he couldn’t be sure, but he hoped they would be proud.

I’m betting that’s exactly how they’d feel.

Happy birthday Thursday to Barbara Luper, Cameron M. Jacobs, and Montasia Jones, all of Sherman; Jeremy Jones of Bells; and Lonita Vest of Savoy.

Happy anniversary Thursday to Jack and Darlene Wooster of Sherman, 21 years.