How can I help?


I knew this day would come...

I just didn't know the deep down feelings that would surface.

God prepared me for this!

I often wondered how in the world I could turn my story into helping others....it's now!

My advice is just that... mine.

It's what worked for our family during our time of need.

If you are here wanting to know how YOU can help, God bless YOU!

You're in the right place.

The first step to helping someone who has just gone through a tragedy is ...

SHOW UP!

Don't call or text.
I know you may think that you're being sweet but you're just taking time away from them that they need.

Victims can't tell you what they need because they just don't know.

I know for myself, I could not even think straight and tell you if I was hungry.

The hardest part of being a victim of flooding is admitting you need help.

Trust me.  You need every helping hand you can find.




So where do you begin?

You don't have to call them and let them know you're coming.

They may refuse. Just show up!

Everyone wants to bring water and that is great but man can't survive on just water.

Snacks were awesome!

It's hot and you're working endless hours. Your normal has flown out of the window and often, you won't even know you're hungry until the wee hours of the night.

Here is a list of things we found very helpful in the first few days.

Floor fans
paper towels
toilet paper
sanitizing wipes
work/plastic gloves
pop up tables
drop cloths
hammers, utility knives

PLASTIC BINS!!
(you cannot have enough plastic bins)

flip flops/socks

tooth brushes and toothpaste.

Many loving friends wanted to send clothing and household items.
While these items will be needed in the future, many will have no place to store them.

Instead, offer to pick up their laundry and wash it for them.
You have no idea how this will be a blessing for them!!!

Cook meals and bring it to them.
I know we never wanted to stop working and drive somewhere to eat.

That took up valuable time when trying to beat the onset of mold setting up in your home.




The first step after your home floods...

Demo.

This is a hard one.
I had a few moments where I broke down throwing out "memories"

But... you know what I remember now the most?

Those that were there shoulder to shoulder helping us every step.

Don't be afraid to step in and pitch items that are damaged and soiled.
I found it helpful when others would make those decisions for me.
When it is something in question, hold to the side and ask them later.

It's ok to cry and its ok to cry with them.

What's not ok is to remind them that it's only just stuff that can be replaced.


Their "just stuff" is theirs and it hurts.

Allow them time to grieve over their belongings and listen to their stories.

They are blessed to have you!

This is something that won't be fixed in a week.. a month... a year!

Working with the government is slow.

Working with your insurance is slow.

Waiting on construction workers... crickets

Let's just say that we are a year in and we are still waiting to finish things.

For those of you that are helpers, keep checking in on them.

Don't believe when they say they are fine and don't need anything.

Bring something!  Even if its a plate of cookies.

They need to feel loved and not forgotten.

Every kind act that you can do for them will be one less thing on their shoulders.

If you cant be there but want to help...

Donations.

Everyone has their own opinions on who and where to donate.

What was helpful to us the most, gift cards!

They took up no space and we knew they were there when needed.

When you have lost everything, anything helps!

We would not be where we are today if it had not been for the kindness of others.

If you have a local church or group heading that way to help, that's a great place to start.

I know that everyone mentions large groups  (not saying names) but after everyone  takes a cut, only a small percentage makes its way to the needy.

Give to groups that you know.

be careful

Along with tragedy comes crooks that are heartless and will play at your emotions.

Make sure your hard earned money finds its way 100% into those that NEED it.






I know this post has been all over the place.

My thoughts and feelings are everywhere!

We are good.

 Most of the rain and wind have gone west of us for now.

If you're still reading this, thank you!

Thank you for helping!

Every small gesture is HUGE to the one that's going to receive it.


xo

73 comments:

  1. This is SO good Susie. Thank you! Y'all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. 😘

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  2. What a heartfelt post. Thanks for sharing what helped you the most during your time of need.

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  3. Beautiful from your heart post

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  4. May I share your post? I have friends that are asking how they can help and I would love to share!

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  5. Susie this was so helpful!!! Thank you for posting and being real! Praying for you and all those in the path of this.

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  6. Thank you for the "real" post, most don't realize what "needs" need to be met and you were helpful with this post. Thought of you when Harvey hit and hoped you were OK, glad to hear you did not get all of this (again).

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  7. What a great post Susie, sharing your experience and all you went through. I know it's been a hard year for you and your family, but you kept your faith all along the way. xoxo

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  8. Thank you Susie!This is great advice. My youngest daughter and her husband had their house flooded this week and it's just overwhelming but so many people have just showed up. And donated money. They feel very loved but it's really hard to be on the receiving end and not be able to give.

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  9. Very timely and accurate. Thank you for posting. Not knowing what you need, bringing food so the working doesn't have to stop, someone to make decisions for you...all very applicable for me!!!
    Some other insights I've discovered this week,
    *Volunteer to catalog items that were ruined by way of photo and entry in a spreadsheet can be helpful. Those with flood insurance may have to prove every item lost to obtain the appropriate reimbursement. It doesn't require physical strength and will free the owners up to continue hauling the wet stuff out the door. In some cases, it might even be helpful to have a "listener" to sit with the owner as they stop to tell stories about the emotional significance of the items.
    *Babysitting so that someone else can work is amazingly helpful
    *Loaning tools even when you can't make it. We had plenty of manpower but not enough tools to cut sheet rock.


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  11. Thank you for this post. Our home flooded with Hurricane Harvey in Houston last month. All you said is so true.

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