The Big Girl Chronicles: Response to Hurricane Sandy
Few things are more sobering than when a natural disaster strikes and we are left to face the remnants of its devastation. Things that have taken a lifetime to build and invaluable landmarks are destroyed mercilessly by the force of nature. Even more priceless are the lives lost. Tragedy such as this is never easy to recover from. But those of us that weren’t directly affected by the storm can do some things to reach out to those suffering from the catastrophe of our most recent natural disaster, Hurricane Sandy, and assist in efforts to reestablish those areas that were affected.
Send a care package.
Now more than ever a simple act of kindness, such as sending a care package, can make an immeasurable difference to a family that has endured this crisis. Things like toiletries, sanitizers and other personal care items can help ease the stress for families having to care for small children. If you can afford it, include things like seasonal apparel, blankets, pillows and other items you would need if you had suddenly lost everything. For children, some comforting items such as a stuffed animal or other items like books, activity pads, crayons and toys could prove useful to help occupy their minds and distract them from the anxiety that parents are likely experiencing during this time. It could also be helpful to include a disposable camera, postage and prepaid cards that could assist in meeting needs of families in addition to traditional items such as water and canned goods that will be shared.
Make donations and begin charitable giving.
Businesses can ante up and begin to assist the city in rebuilding by donating labor and supplies. Begin a charitable fund and/or donate a percentage of sales towards the rebuilding efforts. As much as your budget will stand, make in-kind contributions of supplies and labor that can be instrumental in repairing some of the structural damage. Volunteer manpower to quicken the progress. This is a wonderful opportunity for mental health professionals and other crisis intervention specialists to not only go onsite and help families recoup, but also provide valuable experience for interns.
Personalize your support.
To make your support extra special, share your contact information and consider making a video or some kind of memento introducing yourself to your new “adopted” family. Do something special like plant a seedling or plant to nurse as you follow your family’s progress. You can post video online and provide a link, send a dvd, create a blog or some other form of communication in honor of your family reestablishing itself.
In times like these, imagine the difference that you can make by taking the time to reach out to ailing families that are enduring such loss. No matter the size of your contribution, the effort that you put forth to comfort someone during this crisis speaks volumes. The feeling that you get knowing you were a help to someone is more than words can express. Our continued thoughts and prayers go out to the people affected by Hurricane Sandy.