It seemed a little silly to post some item that I’m loving this week, when the thing that I’m really loving is watching the amazing acts of generosity and service in Texas and Louisiana. Texas obviously holds a special place in my heart, and when I see friends’ posts about flooded neighborhoods that I have spent time in, it breaks my heart. The thing that boosts my spirits though, is the amazing sense of community that you find in Texas and Louisiana. People who have lost everything are still finding ways to help and serve others. It is charity in the truest sense of the word. So, today, I thought I’d share a few different ways to help with Hurricane Harvey from wherever you are. I would love it if you would share any other suggestions.
The question for most people, who aren’t nearby, is, how do we help. What is the best thing that I can do? Lots of time we start acting before we think. As far as donations are concerned, one of the best articles I’ve read is this one. We don’t want to waste the precious time of volunteers by sorting through things that are in no way useful. My husband and sons were actually scheduled to leave for Houston on Friday for a football weekend. When it became very apparent that it wasn’t an appropriate situation for kids, we explained to them that we couldn’t go down there on a vacation and take resources from people who need them. That included rental cars and hotel rooms. I have talked to some Houston friends about things we can send, and the best way to send them. For the most part, the best thing to send is money to a charity that you trust. For me that charity is the LDS Humanitarian Fund, but The Red Cross (don’t forget you can also donate blood), the Texas Diaper Bank, the Houston Food Bank, or even the JJ Watts fund are all great. If you have a special place in your heart for animals, donate to an pet charity. I know there are lots of charities in San Antonio and Austin that are set up as staging grounds and are taking things to Houston. Another great resource is the Amazon registry. If your charity has set up a registry then you can purchase specific things that they’ve requested and have it delivered to them.
There are also a lot of groups and shops donating their proceeds for special purchases. If you’ve always wanted a t-shirt from Magnolia, now is the time to buy it. If you like Kendra Scott, today they’re donating 50% of their proceeds to The Red Cross. My old stomping grounds at Alamo City Moms Blog designed a great t-shirt that I will be wearing shortly. If paper goods are more your style, both Emily Ley and Chalk Full of Love have some great options.
I just found a group that is adopting Texas classrooms. Basically, they put you in touch with a teacher, and then you coordinate with them on what they need. This is perfect for families, scout troops, classrooms, etc…
I think the biggest thing that we can do in this situation is act. A lot of times we become numb to the horrific images of the Hurricane and its aftermath, and we think there’s nothing that we can do that will make a difference, but trust me, everything makes a difference. If you’ve got some time this week-end, set up a lemonade stand or a bake sale and donate your proceeds. This is a great way to get your whole family involved.