I grew up in central Florida – shielded from the coast by a mere 40 or so miles. My childhood memories of hurricane season include board games and stocked pantries while storms raged outside our living room window. Simple rainy day fun in my young mind. Yet, I distinctly remember the devastation to our neighbors in the south from Hurricane Andrew. I was thirteen years old. Old enough to join my parents and older sister, huddled around our television, watching the images in horror as the news anchors reported from the rubble. Fear rose inside my spirit and light-hearted rainy day board games were replaced with anxiety and an understanding of the devastating power of these massive storms.
As Beth Moore eloquently states in her recent Christianity Today article, “Every coastal city knows it could be next. We have to have our neighbors to survive.”
I’ve been EXHAUSTED from social media in the past year (or couple of years, really). The tension and the viciousness are too much to take some days.
I want to shut it all down. I want to sign off and ignore everyone’s opinions and soapboxes. Even though a lot of the information shared is GOOD and knowledge is power… the responses are often laced with anger and hostility. (This may sound harsh but I wonder if I’m not the only one who has felt this way lately.)
But, oh my heart. I have been absolutely astounded by the posts these past few days.
Hurricane Harvey hit Houston with intense force and the aftermath has been absolutely horrific. I can barely look at photos or videos of the flooding and the victims without becoming teary. YET. My social media feeds are turning to feeds of hope and love and support and a posture of humility and “how can I help?” responses are pouring forth.
From my sideline perspective, I’ve watched as the enemy tried his damnedest to divide us as a nation. He has shouted hatred and lies and had many of us believing we would never find our way back. We would be divided and downtrodden and fear would reign on our streets and in our homes. But, today, when suffering is rampant and hope should be dead and buried, light is pouring in. The stories of good, kind, selfless deeds are endless.
Please don’t hear me saying this storm was a good thing, no. It is horrific and the pain of loss and destruction and death is intense and real. Yet, I see us rising up.
Thank you, people of Houston. For inspiring us and reminding us that we can do better. We can go out into the storm and love recklessly. We can reach a hand out to our neighbors, and complete strangers; even the ones who look differently than us and believe differently than us. We can just pour out love.
If you’re looking to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey and don’t know where to turn, I wanted to share that our dear friends and partners at Help One Now will be working as a conduit to channel funds to those doing direct impact work on the ground. They will give away 100% of what is raised. They will be partnering with local organizations in Houston and the surrounding areas who will be effectively serving their own people on the long road to recovery.
So, IF you want to give, there are 2 ways to do it … mail in a check or give online.
If you want to mail in a check, just make your check out to “Help One Now” and make sure to write “Texas Hurricane Relief” in the memo. Then mail the check to:
Help One Now
P.O. Box 26716
Raleigh, NC 27611
If you prefer to give online, just FOLLOW THIS LINK, and once you are there:
- Enter your donation amount in the box on the left that says One-time Donation, and select General Donation in the drop-down box.
- Fill in your name, email and credit card info.
- Type “Texas Hurricane Relief” in the Notes section. Make sure to do this, so that we know how to allocate the funds. And then we will make sure that 100% of your donation makes a direct impact in southeast Texas!