This past weekend and week, Sam and I sat glued to our computers and TV as we watched Harvey unfold in Texas. It was beyond comprehension to read plea after plea from people needing to be rescued or trying to get help to a loved one – and not being able to do anything. Not physically anyway.
I know so many of us felt so helpless as this happened. It left me with a feeling of both the deep desire to do something, and the guilt that I could feel that way because I’m not the one in the midst of this disaster.
I don’t know how else to explain it. Like survivor’s guilt in a way. You see all these people suffering and you’re sitting at home, packing up supplies or sending off money but all you want to do is reach through the screen and rescue them. By Monday it took everything in me not to jump in the truck and head out there.
Money we’d need to come up with for our own housing/food/supplies. It seemed like a really terrible idea to both go and not go.
Then I read a facebook post from someone in the middle of the storm that helped me to focus on what I could do. He kindly asked that people who were not trained in emergency rescuing or able to help unhindered just send money or load up supplies. His posts stated while he knew many people wanted to be there with them, risking our lives while rescuing them wasn’t helping anyone if we weren’t able to do it properly, and therefore causing more rescues.
The point of this isn’t to feel “let off the hook,” but to realize there are ways you can truly help without becoming a burden or a risk. For many of us, financially and logistically, it isn’t possible to go to where Harvey hit, but we should all be helping in any way we are able.
So below are some smaller/lesser known organizations and fundraisers going that you can make a real impact by donating time, money, and supplies too.
-Amplify Marketing and El Paso Children’s Hospital (also info on brand donations and local El Paso dropoff): https://www.facebook.com/cortneygalster/posts/10101003612070562?pnref=story
-Adopt a Classroom: http://sunsandsecondgrade.blogspot.com/2017/08/adopt-texas-classroom-faq.html
-Adopt a Flood Family: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AdoptAFloodFamily/
-My own fundraiser for Texas Diaper Bank: https://www.facebook.com/dianawrote/posts/1899861226707311
-Portlight Inclusive Disaster Services (helping individuals with disabilities): https://www.facebook.com/pg/PortlightStrategies/
-Texas Decals by Charlotte Reese Boutique: https://www.facebook.com/charlottereeseboutique/photos/a.1266411293374164.1073741831.136465763035395/1870784072936880/?type=3&theater
-Texas Disaster Relief (friend of a friend using helicopters for rescue): https://www.gofundme.com/texas-disaster-relief
-Texas Relief Shirts by Jumping Jax Designs: http://jumpingjaxdesigns.com/product/texas-forever-harvey-relief-unisex-t-shirt/
-The Parker Lee Project (helping children who are medically fragile): https://www.facebook.com/theparkerleeproject/
-Westerbur Flood Damage (family of a friend): https://www.gofundme.com/westerbur-flood-damage
If you want to go still (and we all do!), please consider going to help once everything has calmed down, the spotlight is off them a little, and you can focus your time and resources on the long-term effort of rebuilding their lives and towns.
Please feel free to leave ones you know and trust, or any fundraisers you may have through your business or personally, in the comments below!