The photo grabbed me. More than any I had seen on TV or social media since the flooding began. The newscast had put up a split-screen. On the left was the interstate on a normal day, on the right, just the directional signs hovering over what looked like an ocean.
Such an unnatural scene. Looking at it just makes you feel like the world has turned upside down. For me this image captures the way the hurricane Harvey victims must feel. Where there is supposed to be dry land, there are now oceans of water. Homes, vehicles, people… swept away. The devastation and loss is too much for the mind to comprehend.
Over and over again, we hear stories of survival. Stories of Texans helping Texans. Reports of Americans helping Americans. If ever there was a silver lining, this surely must be it.
What a tremendous testament to the American spirit! Further evidence that we are such a great nation of truly caring people… never mind the radical minority that always seems to garner the media attention. This country is made up of common, ordinary… heroes!
I am left wondering how to help in situations like this. Some people can go, certainly, but in an event like this there is only room for so many. Indeed, logistically, I understand it’s hard to get to where the greatest needs are because the disaster is still ongoing.
So, until a better opportunity comes along, I will do the one thing I can do right now… GIVE.
May I make a confession? I’m a pretty picky giver. I like to have every assurance possible that my gift will actually do some good. I’m not going to come right out and give examples, but there are lots of organizations that sound good, but very little of what they take in go to any good cause (leave it to me to do the checking!). I was solicited once by a very worthy-sounding, fraternal-type group… only to find out that the bulk of the money went to ‘operating expenses, lobbying and the cost of hosting meetings at hotels around the state’.
Even the Red Cross is coming under fire during the Harvey disaster. I’ve always believed them to be above reproach, and I’d still feel good about giving them my money. You can click here to donate with the Red Cross.
But there are at least two organizations that I trust implicitly. And I’m going to share those with you today:
SBDR of Texas
This is a group that my husband and I are very familiar with! As trained and certified Disaster Relief Chaplains, we have the credentials to go anywhere upon deployment. The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief ministry is well known to officials nationwide. The ‘yellow hats’ can, with proper badge and ID, access many disaster areas inaccessible even to the media. Ironically, SBDR was started in Texas 50 years ago and are welcomed whenever and wherever disaster strikes.
From the SBDR website:
SBDR has been around for 50 years, providing all kinds of disaster relief including hot meals, clean water, child care, laundry, structure repairs, rebuilding and more. With a trained volunteer force exceeding 80,000 people, SBDR fuels the third largest disaster relief agency in the United States.
Any donations made through this link will go directly to provide aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey. 100%. SBDR Harvey.
Another really great organization is Samaritan’s Purse. As it’s name suggests, this group is all about neighbors helping neighbors. You may have heard about their annual shoebox Christmas ministry where they collect and distribute millions of shoeboxes to needy children all over the world. But maybe you didn’t know that they also respond to disasters like Harvey. Here is their Hurricane Harvey page which tells a bit about them ad how to contribute: Samaritan’s Purse Harvey Response.
Both Samaritan’s Purse and SB Disaster Relief are members of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
I hope you will join me in praying for all the victims, as well as responders, of the Hurricane Harvey disaster. And however you choose to help, God will bless your gift!