Ways to Help: Harvey and Irna

Photography Credit:  Gerben Van Es / Dutch Defense Ministry via AP
I know we are all completely heart-broken by the devastation both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey have left behind.  As for the three of us (Sarah is too young to understand), we have had The Weather Channel on around the clock watching the damage these weather patterns have left behind, which in turn has just made us worried about how we can help.  Many of the places that have been hit really hard are so very special to us.  Three of the places that come to mind are St. Barth's, where Matthew and I spent our honeymoon, St. Martin, where we spent a spring break exploring with two of our favorite family friends and all of our children, and then of course, our favorite place we go each year....Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos.  As a family who truly loves travel and becomes deeply attached to the places we travel, we feel helpless after these horrific storms.  I know when Caroline realized the path of Irma was within 50 miles of Parrot Cay, she was immediately asking Matthew to e-mail the people we have become friends with over the years, from the hotel manager, to the restaurant manager, to the head pool attendant.  Luckily, everyone we were able to get in touch with happen to have not been on the island due to current renovations taking place at the hotel, but obviously this is not the case for so many.

We LOVE the islands, but there are certainly millions of people these horrific storms have affected here in our own special United States of America.  We have relatives in Houston who say the pictures do not do it justice, everything is much worse in person.  At the same time, one of my closest friends from college, her parents weathered the storm in Ft. Lauderdale.  The list goes on and on, SO ....

After school today, Caroline and I did some research and decided how our family can help.  We want to share with you what we found.

1.  UMCOR.ORG
          Our Sunday school class discussed this one Sunday morning.  UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is a non-profit that includes projects in disaster response, health, relief supplies and more.  I like this because it is something hands on we can do with the girls.  There are multiple relief supply kits to choose from and the list of what should go in each kit is on their website, along with where to ship the relief buckets, or you can make a monetary donation.  Either way, you know you are directly helping.  Caroline and I are making flood relief buckets tomorrow after school.

2.   AMERICAN RED CROSS
          You can go to the website and make a donation and know you are directly helping because the Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief.  Hurricane Irma is the second major hurricane the Red Cross has had to respond to in less than two weeks!  Red Cross is one of the first organizations on the ground when responding to a major disaster.  Right now, one of their major focuses is on the people staying in the emergency shelters and those who have lost their primary residence.  Can you imagine?!?  You can visit redcross.org or text IRMA to 90999 to make a $10.00 donation.

3.  UNICEF
          What I love about Unicef is this is an organization that puts children first in times of emergency.  Unicef is the world's leading advocate for children's rights.  Unicef helps ensure children and families in affected areas have clean water and helps to make sure children have a safe place to stay.  They also focus on making certain basic supplies are distributed to those in need.  You can visit UNICEF.org to see how you can help.

Ok, those are the three organizations that stuck out the most to us.  Let us know if you have something we are missing or questions I can try and research for you.  I'm always happy to update a post.  I know we live an amazing country that comes together to help those in need, whether it is for a small island right outside of our country, or one of our great states, I just know it takes all of us and I pray we take the time to teach our children this important lesson during this devastating time for so many.  XOXO
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Tracy MooreComment