Two Paths of Devastation
September 11, 2017
I was all set to write a blog on Sunday about style hacks for transitioning to fall, but I couldn't.
I was glued to the news watching the second Hurricane that was in the process of devastating millions more Americans. We all know too many people with homes and families that were in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and of Hurricane Irma.
Just two weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, killed at least 50 citizens, displaced more than 1 million, damaged over 200,000 homes in a path of destruction stretching for more than 300 miles. It is estimated that there was over 180 billion in damage.
As you read this blog today, I have no idea of the true extent of damage that Hurricane Irma will leave behind. Although the news is better than expected, I still know that the good people, states and countries which felt its force will be forever changed by this deadly disaster.
Photo by Nasa
You are all in our thoughts and prayers. And while this is important, it is just not enough.
I don’t know about you, but my mind can't even begin to embrace the impact of both of these storms. I don't know why, but somehow I could compartmentalize the tragedy in Texas and keep its true impact at a distance. Shame on me.
Photo by CNN
Maybe its because today is the anniversary of 9/11 and my heart still remembers that terrible time. Or I that know so many people with homes in Florida and have witnessed your concerns firsthand. Perhaps its the combination of two disasters so close in time. Whatever the case, I can no longer look away.
I had to pick up the phone on Sunday and talk this through with Kelli and Jeff. All three of us feel strongly that we need to act and do something to help. As a clothing and home store, it is only natural for us to have an urge to donate furnishings and clothes and ask you to help us do that. But as Kelli researched how to go about effectively making a difference, she found that it was actually important to hold off from making material donations.
Donating food, clothing and household items can actually complicate and even hinder immediate relief efforts. There are more urgent issues to address and relief agencies will need time to figure out how to effectively distribute piles of clothing and other items donated. Distributing material items requires its own infrastructure which is logistically complicated...one that is never prioritized in the early and critical stages of relief.
There will be a time down the road where K. Renee will act on this urge. But not now.
how to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma
Right now, the best way to help the victims Hurricane Harvey and Irma is to donate money to the charitable agencies that are experienced in disaster relief. There are many, many local and national agencies that bring support. It’s important to do your research before giving to any group and choose the ones you trust. But we urge you to choose.
(Read a release from FEMA on how to help disaster survivors impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma)
We are encouraging our entire team to donate to either the American Red Cross or through the Lutheran Church of Hope disaster drive where all donations go to the ELCA Disaster Relief to provide immediate support to areas affected by Hurricane Harvey (and I am sure shortly for Hurricane Irma.)
There is also an urgent need for all of us to donate blood.
Blood centers are anticipating a critical shortage and are putting out pleas for donations. The closure of blood banks and collection centers in all of these devastated areas will put great stress on their ability to serve those with need and injuries from the two devastating storms. You can contact our local red cross at http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood to figure out when and where to give. I will be making my appointment to give blood today.
We, at K. Renee, take our vision of living life beautifully to heart. Living life beautifully isn’t about closing ourselves off from the world around us, it is about being actively engaged with others and helping them back on the path to a better life. To do that, we must be willing to help those in need.
Photo from CNN
We are blessed that we are safe, that life is full of possibility and that we have the means to share, to help and to not look away. A day will come when each one of us will have a great need of some kind or the other and it will mean the world when others step in and provide relief. We are nothing without each other. We are nothing if we don’t care. We are the greatest community in the world and I, for one, would like to keep it that way.
From all of us at K. Renee, We pray for those that have found themselves in the path of these storms, for all evacuating to safety and for all who will work to serve our communities and protect the dignity of life. May we take care of ourselves, our loved ones and those God puts in our path.
And we remember all those that were lost, that fought and that made a difference 16 years ago today.
The light of style, the namesake of this blog, was born five years ago this month when we opened our home division. The light represents the removal of darkness in all of our lives.
Thank you for acting and being a small part of the new beginning of those in need and sending out a small ray of light,