“Do you have any trashbags or cleaning wipes?”
There I was, awash in piles and piles of clothes and non-perishable food items donated by generous people who likely just wanted to do whatever they could to help. And yet, as I offered warm socks and cheerios, all the citizens in Sea Bright wanted, no, needed, was garbage bags and clorox wipes. They had nowhere to store cheerios, but they could use assistance cleaning out what was left of their lives after the flood waters receded.
It’s high school graduation season around here, which means college bumper stickers are popping up all over town. There are a few flying WVs near my house so of course I am brought back to nearly the best four years of my life in a place I still consider home. West Virginia and the people I love there will always be my home, no matter where I live in the moment. Once you’ve spent some time in the Mountain State, you can’t help but recognize the place and the people have left a mark on your heart.
This week, as I found myself resting high on top my privilege complaining about construction projects that aren’t finished around my house, my whining was interrupted by a stark reality check: pictures of a familiar type of devastation in another place I love. Flood waters have swept through more than 20 counties across the state, leaving 23 dead and thousands of others without the homes they woke up with just a few short mornings ago.
In situations like this, I am always overcome by a physical need to get out and do something. During Super Storm Sandy, I was lucky enough to live close to Sea Bright, so I could drive over and lend a hand doing whatever needed done. In this case, I’m hours away and lifetimes removed from the people and what they need most but that doesn’t quell my ache to do something.
That’s where Save the Children comes in. I’ve written about this organization here more times than you could count. They do the work that matters for people. Their people are often first in a disaster zone, getting their hands dirty in whatever way the people need. Save is always in West Virginia, because they have programs for early intervention that support Appalachian kids all year round. I know within hours of the flooding the people of Save were trying to locate the families they help. They reached some. Others are still unheard from, which means they’re likely without homes. So the folks from Save are doing what they do best: rallying the troops and heading into the area in droves to assist in any way they can. They’ll buy the water bottles. They’ll pass out the Cheerios. They’ll go through the mud and muck to get people their garbage bags and Clorox wipes.
They need our help to do it.
I know I often share great organizations and they work that they are doing so that if any reader feels compelled to give, they know where to go. I almost never directly ask for help. I rarely find I am passionate about any one cause to implore my friends and readers to get involved. This time, I’m passionate about two: storm flooding recovery and my second home. This time, I’m not asking, I’m begging for you to take a few minutes and give a few dollars to Save the Children to help the people of West Virginia begin to rebuild after the floods have threatened to take their lives away. Please, it won’t take long and it won’t take much from each of you, but it will make a huge difference to some people who need it most. I know Save the Children will do the work that’s needed. I know your little bit will help.
Use this to make a donation and you can rest assured the children and families of West Virginia will feel your help very soon. It couldn’t be easier.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.