We are the fortunate ones. Our home was undamaged and we all stayed safe. Unlike the many others of people who have lost, in some cases, everything. At one of our worst moments this weekend, when we had completely ran out of water and it had started getting cold, a neighbor knocked on our door holding a power cord. "Here, borrow this line," he said. "We have what we need." That one cord of power, used to turn on a light and a small heater, meant so much it's hard to find the words. Especially since we hadn't even asked.
Since last week images of disaster have filled my television set, my facebook page, my inbox, and my backyard. But hidden among those horrific images has been something else. The faces of strangers and friends compelled to help.
Just like the writer from Florida who took the time to pick up the phone and contact me, and the neighbor who brought over a power line, and the many messages from friends I received offering a place to charge up, take a shower, or stay for the night, I have seen people everywhere doing what they can. Whether it is setting up donation areas and traveling to affected areas with supplies, or offering neighbors food or shelter, or singing on television asking for donations to the cause, people are taking the time to help others. Another friend of mine who was fortunate to keep power remarked on Sunday as she visited as many donation centers as she could reach, that she "just had to do something. Even though it still doesn't feel like enough."
This caring side, this better side of human nature is not something we hear about enough but in times of crisis, I feel so fortunate to know that it is within us.
Feel the need to help? There are so many ways you can.
|Author Kate Messner has organized Kidlit Cares, a place writers and teachers can bid for great items and help those affected by the storm.|
The American Red Cross has a donation site. You can also find places to give blood and volunteer on their site.
Do you know other places to donate? Have you experienced an act of kindness that you'd like to share? Please comment below.