‘Tis the Season!
As a former fundraiser, I know all about the end-of-the-year scramble for money. Additionally, with it being the holidays, everyone and their brother is asking for some of your hard earned cash.
Trust me, if I could give to everyone, I would. It is hard to say no sometimes, but this one was too close to heart.
Many of you may know that in 2005, a friend and I had the opportunity to volunteer with the Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, which then flooded New Orleans. It was the worst natural disaster we remember experiencing in our generation. The footage of that day still hits hard whenever it comes on television.
Maybe it hits me harder because I was there. I saw it with my own two eyes — and I didn’t even get assigned to New Orleans. In fact, we barely got to go do the work we wanted because the Red Cross dispatch center was such a disaster itself. My friend and I had to “work the system” to get assigned and only then could we actually get down to really helping with work.
When we finally made it to Columbia, MS we distributed meals to people as well as fresh water and ice. Families had gone weeks without electricity and it was a scorching summer. The heat was oppressive, to say the least. We also worked with the National Guard and FEMA to keep the crowds organized and supplied with bottled water as they waited in long lines (at least a mile long). It was hard work, and people were not happy. Assistance was slow and folks were really in need. We worked our asses off to help people for almost two weeks. When it was time to go, I wanted to stay longer, but I had the job that pays me to go back to, so I had to say goodbye and get back to the comfortable, non-disaster affected city I lived in.
The memory of that experience lasts to me til this day, and I know it will forever.
Back to the cause I couldn’t say NO to. The Disaster Accountability Project, started by Ben Smilowitz, whom we met on the way down to AL. Ben started this organization after also witnessing the disaster of the disaster relief organizations. It’s a great organization that does amazing work. They monitor organizations to make sure they are accountable with the money they receive and are actually HELPING those in need.
If you have a spare $10, please consider giving to this worthy cause.
16 more days til Christmas!!!