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Over the last few days, we’ve had some plumbing issues ~ basically, a pipe burst in our basement and the sump pump failed, so while the pipe burst in our sleep, our basement filled up with over a foot of water all around. The ceiling was completely soaked in certain areas causing the cable box to get fried and other wiring needing to be removed. We woke up to the sound of hissing, not knowing what was happening below us…when we saw it, it looked a mess.

Michael shut off the main water line so no more water could pump out. What a bummer!! My mind began racing thinking about all the reasons this sucked. But then, a thump from my chest that the moment before was beating stress, signaled something else – images of people swimming for their lives, trucks floating in deep waters, rescue boats searching and helping too many to count…and the foot of water in my basement was zilch in comparison to all that’s been lost in Texas.

And my heart broke that I am here wondering how we will take a shower, and the people there are wondering how they will recover and even far worse than the loss of any material possession, many are wondering where beloved family and friends are, and if they will ever be reunited. My heart broke thinking how the minor inconvenience I was experiencing even gave me a moment of stress, a tinge of “oh no” when I have a roof over my head, a husband by my side, and two angels sleeping upstairs with their pup and birdie waiting for the kiddos to wake up and the day to begin ~ our family all accounted for, unharmed, and main floors all in tact.

How do I turn this aching heart into helping those in Texas? What can I do here? I wrestled with these early random thoughts, as I tried to arrange for a plumber to help us out. And then my eyes and heart opened to so many ways we can help, and that this devastation will take years to recover from, that no gift is too small, no collection not needed.

Here is a list of ways we can all help, in case anyone else was wondering:

1) Donate money to an organization directly helping hurricane relief efforts. NPR suggests using Charity Navigator, and cited United Way of Greater Houston, Go Fund Me, Samaritan’s Purse, and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief to name a few.

2) Donate Blood to the American Red Cross.

3) Donate food or money for food to food banks / organizations directly feeding those affected by the storm, such as Feeding Texas, Corpus Christi Food Bank, Houston Food Bank, San Antonio Food Bank, Galveston Food Bank, Brazil’s Valley Food Bank.

4) Donate diapers and baby supplies to Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio, Texas.

5) Donate feminine products and diapers via Amazon through the Junior League of New Orleans Amazon Wish List here https://www.amazon.com/…/ref=cm_wl_rli…/147-0507927-8041408…

6) Donate gift cards for food and clothing to retailers such as Costco, Walmart, and Target.

7) Donate pet supplies or financial resources to Austin Pets Alive.

This is just a short list, I also know there are many local drop off stations for donations – please post here if you have specifics / details about where / what to drop off locally…

There are so many ways that we can help, small ways that collectively do so much, and remind us how everyday problems are minute in the scheme of life, how humanity is beautiful when we work together to help each other, and how much we do desperately need one another.