My heart is really hurting for Texas right now in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. I think about how drab and chilly today is and how it made for a less-than-ideal visit to the local festival, but I can’t complain. My feet got wet, but I didn’t lose anything. I can’t imagine what it must be like to experience what those in the Houston area are, but I’m trying, because like most people, I have never experienced devastation like this and it puts a rainy day into perspective.
In time, I know most of those affected by Hurricane Harvey will recover, but they will be forever changed, having lost not only furniture and clothes, but irreplaceable possessions like photographs, family heirlooms, and keepsakes, pets and life-saving medications.
I don’t understand the negativity in our country right now; I can’t make logical sense of it. It’s not just one political or religious group hurting from Harvey. It’s not one ethnicity or economic class. It is everyone, regardless of their differences, and it’s proof that when everything is stripped away, we are all the same, all one race, all susceptible to natural disasters and all capable of making a difference.
We should take a moment, however small, to try and put ourselves in their position and ask ourselves what really matters in life above all else, what few things, if we had everything taken away, we would replace first. The necessities.
Think about the grocery store we shop at, the doctor’s office we visit, the schools our children go to, even the Go Mart we stop at to gas up and grab a Dr. Pepper on our way to run errands. If that were all gone. If we had no roof over our heads or a bed to sleep on, if we couldn’t open the fridge to see what’s to make for dinner because there is no fridge. If we had nothing but the clothes on our backs for an indefinite amount of time, but the opportunity to pick ourselves up. If we survived, what would be the most important things to establish in our lives first?
The people of Texas, like those affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, are living this right now. A lot of them have nothing certain in their lives. It’s heartbreaking. I’m having difficulty articulating my thoughts
(Images and Featured Image Courtesy of Rachel Bays in downtown Houston, TX.)
and feelings about the situation. It’s tragic on so many levels, not the least of which is that it ultimately takes a disaster of this level for Americans to set aside their differences and come together to help others.
The road to normalcy will be a long one for the people in Texas. For many people in Louisiana, things still aren’t back to normal, and it’s been twelve years. It shouldn’t take a natural disaster to remind us of that or to soften our hearts toward charity and goodwill. There are so many people in this country struggling. Those donating right now are donating to people; not those with the same political affiliation, income level, sex, gender identity, race, religion, etc., but people. At the very least, this is a reminder that we are capable of good.
For those able to donate to the victims of Hurricane Harvey, the New York Times has provided this website with a list of legitimate charities and what/how to donate and includes ways to avoid being scammed.
You can also check your local religious, educational, and community centers to find ways to help. Even if it’s only ten dollars, that combined with others’ efforts will help guarantee necessities are provided to those in need.
And before you donate, please take into consideration what is truly needed and practical during this phase of the relief process. This is a powerful and informative article and interview about what happens when good intentions unfortunately turn into a burden.
To live fully and well, we must come together to help those who need it, in times of crisis and the times in between.
(Image Courtesy of Rossina Miller, Wharton, TX.)
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