As if we weren’t glued to our phones and the TV enough, I think my family has been tuned into the media and social media even more so the last week.
Last Wednesday when we first found out about the potential hurricane that was headed for the Texas coast, we thought nothing more of it than another tropical storm/hurricane that had hit before.
In my mind it was just another couple of days of a lot of rain that my family, not Tory, Bryan and I personally, would have to deal with. My family and I (before Tory and I met) had gone through Hurricane Ike and my dad, aunt and cousins had experienced Hurricane Rita, although damaging to some degree, it didn’t completely alter our lives- Hurricane Harvey could’ve just been the same right?
Little did we know, we’d be in complete shock at the effects that followed Harvey and continue to surface each day, a week after the hurricane had actually made landfall.
Glued to Our Phones
During this past week, I have been glued to my phone for any update, big or small, from my parents, other family and friends about their condition and current situation. I’ve looked up the weather app, any articles online regarding to Harvey more than usual-I’ve never been one to be up-to-date with the news.
I’ve been in a quiet, but constant, panic every time my phone buzzed at work and it was someone from Texas. I picked up random phone calls with a Texas zip code because I wasn’t sure if my family had lost cell service and they were trying to reach us.
It’s times like these when you really begin to realize how much we, as a society, have relied on technology to bring us the latest news. How did they do it back in the old days?! I think I would’ve gone insane!!
I’m pretty sure my coworkers are tired of me talking about Harvey and Houston, I’m sorry, I may be back home in Michigan now and didn’t have to go through this hurricane, but it still has some effect on me.
Experiencing Harvey’s Effects Secondhand
I’ll admit it again and again. As much as I couldn’t wait to get out of Texas and back home to Michigan when I was living there, it still hurts me to see the city I spent 9 years growing up in completely under water.
My eyes have welled up in tears just looking at the pictures that have been posted all over the internet and having some type of memory attached to it.
I spent a semester of college volunteering at the the medical center and now it’s completely under water. I spent hours on hours stuck in traffic on every single one of those highways, only to see them submerged in water now (even the highest ones). Seeing streets I used to drive down and places my friends and I used to hang out at deserted and flooded had me all kinds of choked up.
Yes, I wasn’t in Houston when the hurricane hit or dealing with the flooding waters now. Yes, I’m not experiencing all of this first hand, but there’s still a lot of emotions coming knowing that the place I called home for 9 years is completely destroyed and will take so much time and effort to rebuild.
Don’t Mess With Texas #texasstrong
There have been so many positive images of people from all over Texas and even the country, coming together to help the victims of Harvey. Regardless of what’s been going on lately in our country, so many people have been able to put their differences aside and it just warms my heart.
It’s sad to say though that it took an event as horrible and terrifying as Harvey for people to realize that we’re all human, regardless of education, wealth, background, political standing, etc.
But when there’s a positive, the negative one always seems to come around… So many people are saying that Houstonians are stupid for not having evacuated beforehand. No one could’ve predicted the destruction that Harvey brought on. The death toll would’ve been so much higher had the city of 6 million people tried to evacuate all at once!
Instead of focusing on the negative, we should be focusing on our efforts to help the victims up and down the Texas coast, yes it’s more than just Houston!
Here’s How You Can Help
Adopting a Classroom
Something that I came across on my Facebook earlier today and definitely something I want to do is helping gather school supplies for the teachers and students. As a teacher, I already know how much work goes into just getting ready for a regular school year. There’s even more work now for those teachers in Texas, as they prepare for their school year, clean up the mess that Harvey left behind and lift their students and families’ spirits as they begin the school year.
It’s hard enough to have to do all of that without having to worry about the funds for school supplies. While families are having to deal with repairing their flooded homes, the last thing on their minds will be school supplies!
If you’re a teacher, or even if you’re not, and your classroom would like to take part in adopting a classroom in the Texas area, click on this link to sign up! If you’re a teacher in Texas and you know that your students will need help, sign up through the same link as well!
For more information, visit Sun, Sand and Second Grade on Facebook or see the document about “Adopting a Texan Classroom.”
Or you can visit Sun, Sand and Second Grade’s blog for an FAQ!
$10 Goes a Long Way
There’s some of us that would want to help out as much as possible but we ourselves just don’t have the funds for it in our budget. Well, it’s as easy as sending a text to help!
If you text HARVEY to 90999 it’ll send $10 to The American Red Cross and there are tons of other organizations that are also collecting money (just make sure it’s legit before you do)!
Think About the Pets
How could we forget our wonderful furbabies?! Some of these sweet little babies are probably feeling lost, confused and scared! Some of them may have been separated from their owners. You can help send a lost pet to California and several other places around the country to foster homes until they can be rejoined with their owners.
RedRover Responders have been hard at work to make sure that each little fur baby is being placed in a loving home for the time being!
Again, there are so many things that we can do to help and this is definitely the time for all of us to come together and to show our love and support for those who have been effected by this devastating storm. For now, I’m clutching onto my phone for good news from my family and friends. Keeping all of our Texas family and friends in our prayers as we begin to rebuild!
Keep the faith and stay positive! #texasstrong