The families that live just above downtown (with my parents), are still in a state of shock, as they have little access left to the outside world. The rushing waters took with them every tree, guard rail and road while en-route to the center of town. They estimate it will be months before they can rebuild the roads in my parents area enough to bring the power back.
In the Capital Region, people are turning out to do whatever they can. When I heard that our local Country Radio station, WGNA was going to be hosting a live broadcast at the mall in town to help raise money I rushed right down. They put me on the air and I was able to speak for a few minutes and encourage people to come out and show their support for our neighbors and friends. In the end they were able to raise over $30,000 for the Red Cross of Northeastern New York, money that will be put to very good use. They took various clips from the live broadcast and the news reports and remixed them into Miranda Lambert's song, 'The House that Built Me'. Imagine my surprise to hear on the radio my voice being played over and over again! All in the name of awareness! ( almost every time you hear a female voice it's me! )
I've sent messages out to every friend I've got and encouraged them to keep passing on the message. We are all collecting donations and soon I know they'll be showing up at my house. We are gathering every toiletry, cleaning supply, food item, baby product and blanket we can access. They have two donation drop off points I can access ( one being the shelter the evacuated families are staying at, and the county offices where they are distributing to folks in the streets) so I am accepting donations from anyone in Albany. I know that my little car can only take so much, but I will make as many trips as possible to get every resource I have to these people who need it so desperately.
I just couldn't stop thinking about all of those children who lost all of their toys and their baby blankets. How can they understand that their pets aren't coming home? How do they process why their parents are crying, and that things aren't going back to normal when they wake up tomorrow? How do you explain to a small child just what is happening around them in a situation like this? I decided I wanted to do what I could to help the children of the county, and so I created a little side project called, Bags of Hope.