You guys. I come to you tonight (Abu Dhabi time) in solidarity and love for our beloved city. For all of my friends and family who have been and who will continue to be affected by this terribly destructive storm, know that I and others from around the whole wide world SEE you. We see you, and we are doing everything in our power to help you get through this.
Like most of you in Houston, I have been watching all the news I can. Like constantly. I’m staying up late here, to be able to chat on line or via text with friends to make sure they are ok. I’m following updates on Facebook like a mad woman, hoping and praying that friends are safe and sound. And what I am seeing from the great state of Texas and from other places, is a total outpouring of love and support. I’m so, so, so happy to see all the helpers emerging. When things are tough–and they are so tough right now in Houston, man, does it warm my heart to see so many being generous and kind. To those who run into the face of danger to save others, how do we thank you? To those sharing updates, and photos, and videos to help others stay in the know, thank you!! People are posting their phone numbers, offering boat rides out of affected neighborhoods. Friends offering strangers places to stay in their homes. Mattress Mac opening Gallery Furniture as a shelter. So many helpers. I’m so proud to have been a part of this community.
And then I see the devastation. Homes completely submerged under water. Roadways that have become rivers. Businesses completely flooded, and I am just overcome with such sadness for these losses. They are great losses, to be sure, and will take a long time to recover. But I am believing that the good people in Houston are going to continue to support one another with their giving. Being so far from home during these terrible times is so very hard for me. I even looked into flights to get me back to Houston. And while that sounds a little crazy, I want to be there helping. I was talking to a friend (who is safe and dry) about how I’d get a sea-doo or something to help people. (We both laughed at that) I’d be volunteering. I’d try to do something. It’s what we all want to be doing–helping. And to feel “helpless” is awful. So now what? What can I do to help?
One thing we can all do is donate. You can choose to donate to the charity of your choice, but it’s going to take a LOT of money to rebuild the wreckage we see in Houston. Many groups are organizing efforts to help with donations, and others are rallying to create fundraisers. One thing I discovered is that if you have a credit card that gives you points–for miles, or cash back rewards, or whatever…you can use those points to donate to various organizations!! Check your credit card programs and see what you can do. Also, you can donate to local food banks. If you are unable to give food, you can send monetary donations online to your community food banks. They are also going to need a lot of help in coming months. You can also make donations to medical charities who will help provide doctors and nurses to serve at local shelters. I’ve been poking around trying to figure out how I can help, and these are some ways I’ve found where I can do a little something from 8,000 miles away.
Houston, I love you! Friends…oh my dearest friends, I am holding you close to my heart. So many here and “friends” on social media are lifting you up, sharing your stories, organizing fundraisers. We see you! We are doing what we can to send help your way. Hang in there. Here’s what. This storm will pass. The waters will recede, and we will come out of the storm better, stronger, and with a deeper understanding of what really matters: love. Sending love, prayers, and donations your way!!