Yesterday I told you how the residents of my apartment building have formed a community where everyone helps each other. I’ve shown you recently the trash left by the college students and how so much of what we collected was quality wooden pieces of furniture. But while my little town is enjoying summer-like days, preparing gardens, taking walks or just enjoying the sounds of nature or easy conversations, there is a part of the country reeling from loss. Loss of everything material and even of loved ones.
I’m talking about the citizens of Oklahoma who have lost everything you and I take for granted. No home or shelter, not even that of a car. Not knowing if loved ones are still alive or where they may be. Not having access to food or water without having to be dependent on the kind generosity of others.
My mind keeps returning to everything these people will need. Clothes and toiletries, even water for basic cleaning and hydration. Once they do find housing, whether temporary or permanent they will need everything from towels to something to sit down on.
So many of us, myself included have more than we need. We declutter our spaces regularly, and donate or sell what we no longer need or want. Or in the case of the college students, just throw it away. I keep picturing chairs with a ripped side, or a table with a damaged finish. There are things I didn’t save because it would have been too much work for me to restore to like-new condition. But if I had nothing I would have gladly accepted these items.
So how can we help these people who are living in an area which is being called “post-apocalyptic” by some to describe the destruction?
If you live in the area, you can open your home to a person or two. Not comfortable with that? You could offer shelter in your garage and share your meals. If it were me, I would gladly sleep in a detached garage with my children to keep them safe from the weather and keep them close to me.
You could help by donating food to rescuers, even water would be gladly accepted.
And if you have meant to declutter you attic of old furniture, linen closet of extra sheets and towels, etc you can contact local churches or other organizations who will be collecting items. Now is the time to get rid of those samples you never get around to using. Shampoo, soap…what about those granola bars you didn’t care for? All these things would be welcomed by those with nothing.
If you live further away, many organizations are accepting donations from Feed the Children to the Red Cross. A quick internet search would tell you if your favorite charity is assisting the survivors.
Me, I live several states from the disaster and I like to know my help goes to meet a specific need. My searches today are to find a way to be connected with one family I can sponsor. This is the only time I will mention my help in the face of this disaster because I want to protect the privacy of the family I am ultimately connected with and to blog about it would just feel wrong.