Thursday, September 01, 2011

Picking back Up

If you read my last post, than you can imagine how tough these last few days have been. The whole region seems to be in a state of What Now? They started letting the people back into the center of the valley, the places that flooded the worst back in so they could evaluate the damage to their homes.

Hurricane Irene 2011
( I bought some of our furniture in that store!)

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.

Hurricane Irene 2011

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.
Bags of Hope
I'm going to be creating some small bags of toys that will help bring a little bit of joy to kids through-out the county. The bags will be created in my living room , and I will be walking through-out the streets of the county as we continue to re-build going door to door offering kids of all ages these little bags of toys. So many of these kids lost everything, and I hope that something even as small as a bouncy ball could bring them a bit of happiness. I have created a Facebook page to help spread the news of my efforts, and am accepting donations via Paypal. It will only cost $1 to create each bag and every donation will go right into creating a bag. I already have 900 bags to distribute next week! Please head to the page here to read about my efforts.

It really isn't until tragedy strikes so close to home that you realize how lucky you are. It will take some time but we will come out on the other side of this disaster. Slowly but surely, brick by brick. We will rebuild Schoharie County!

1 comment:

Lisa - respect the shoes said...

Holy moly, I hope your fam is OK - what is going on with all the weather in the States recently, it is crazy!