how to help families of the recent epic floods

A few weeks ago I closed my eyes and literally prayed for peace. I heard a Jewish man who had survived the holocaust say, “I never thought I would see Nazi flags being waved over us ever again. And especially not on American soil.”

While the ugliness of Virginia is behind us, it left a feeling of doubt, fear and confusion in the air.

There was so much hate.

As a mother, I looked at my little ones and thought of the world they were growing up in.

I wanted a world where humanity came together and there was love, hope, truth.

I probably wasn’t the only one praying. Around the world, I imagine other mothers and fathers shed tears and believe in love.

There’s this ancient Buddhist story about two people are lost in the desert. They are dying from hunger and thirst. Finally, they come to a high wall. On the other side they can hear the sound of a waterfall and birds singing. Above, they can see the branches of a lush tree extending over the top of the wall. Its fruit looks delicious. One of the people manages to climb over the wall and disappears down the other side. The other person, instead, returns to the desert to help other lost travelers find their way to the oasis. Paradise is nothing without others to share it with. Living in peace is much better than living in hate or being alone.

And sometimes it takes being in a desert to come to know this. Or to be drowning in a flood and knowing you can reach your hand out while on a raft to save someone, which feels right instead of watching someone just like you or your mom vanish into the waters.

Compassion just feels right.

And if there’s anything that the recent Hurricane Harvey or massive floods in South Asia are shedding light on, it’s that NOW is the time for us to come together. All the mothers and fathers that were praying for love earlier this month with me, well this is it people. There is no color or religion that mother nature discriminates against when it comes to her force. Between Texas, India, Bangladesh and Nepal, the children dying and families losing their homes all feel tragic no matter who or where they are.

Furthermore, it is also crucial that we take a moment to think about everything that these people have lost due to water damage. People need to find ways to recouperate after this, with many who have chosen to learn more beforehand about home insurance grateful for the intervention. Floods, heavy rainfall, and strong winds can wreak havoc on properties, and it is often roofs that sustain the most damage. Many people have coverage from home insurance firms, but many do not – if you don’t, click here to look into changing that – and so it is unfortunate that, alongside dealing with the emotional difficulties of being involved in a storm, Texas families will now have to cope with the financial repercussions of paying for any repair work to their homes. On a positive note, when it comes down to finding a roofing company austin has a wide range to choose from, so it is expected that these companies will be very busy with repair work over the coming days.

And so just when I thought the world was drowning in hate, I see how love gets us back onto our feet so we can run to help these communities literally get back on theirs.

Photo from ABC News

Here are ways you can help the families and victims of Hurricane Harvey:

  1. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established a Harvey relief fund at The Greater Houston Community Foundation. The organization connects donors with a network of nonprofits and innovative solutions in the social sector.
  2. United Way of Greater Houston has launched a relief fund for storm-related needs and recovery. The organization says it already maintains a disaster relief fund but anticipates the needs of Harvey will far exceed those existing resources.
  3. The Salvation Army says it is providing food and water to first responders and preparing for massive feeding efforts for residents.
  4. Samaritan’s Purse is accepting donations as well as volunteers for Harvey disaster relief for the coming months.
  5. Feeding Texas is a statewide nonprofit that works alongside state and federal relief efforts. The organization says it steps in during major disasters to “coordinate with the state and other providers so that relief reaches families quickly and the ‘second disaster’ of an unorganized response is avoided.”
  6. Save the Children is providing relief supplies and services to help children and families in shelters and other victims of Hurricane Harvey.
  7. The Texas Diaper Bank, based in San Antonio, works to meet the basic needs of vulnerable babies, children with disabilities, and seniors. It focuses on providing partner agencies with diapers and goods.

photo from India.com

Here are ways you can help the millions of people affected by South Asia’s recent floods:

  1. Unicef is a child focused charity with a global presence. It maintains a Children’s Emergency Fund, which provides help for vulnerable youngsters caught up in disasters.
  2. Save the Children are also working across these three countries to provide essentials, including items to reduce the risk of water-borne diseases, including purifiers, hygiene supplies and sanitary products.
  3. Oxfam is UK-based charity which has initiated an emergency response to relieve the people affected by the flooding. The organization is providing non-food items including fleece blankets, tarpaulin sheets, hygiene kits and solar lamps. It is also working to provide food, security and safe drinking water. Their emergency response donations page can be found here.

We are sending light and love to all the families affected <3 -Puja

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