Dan got home from flood cleanup Saturday night, sore, stiff and grateful. We both are. Everything in our house looks different after seeing what people down there are dealing with. This morning as he was making breakfast he said, “I’m sure glad our toaster isn’t full of mud,” not something we were particularly sensitive to a few days ago.
The family he was helping lost 2 homes and most of their belongings in the flood. They were living in a small house on their property while building a nicer place. The land had some minor flooding 10 years ago, water coming up to their driveway, in something that was referred to as a “500 year flood.” They felt pretty safe building a new home on the land since neither of them expected to live past three or four hundred years of age. Both the new and old home were filled with seven feet of water. Dan’s job was to help move all the furniture to a waste heap in the front yard so they could begin removing flooring and tearing out walls.
Apparently they had to break open their dressers to remove the mud-soaked clothes so they’d be light enough to move outside. Dan used the same words as the woman I met on Friday to describe the state of the house. “It looked like their belongings had been put in a giant blender.”
Family photos were destroyed and animals killed. Their neighbors lost a herd of llamas and the dog breeder nearby lost 25 animals.
The good news is that many people are coming to help. On Saturday over 3000 volunteers surged into the area. Good friends all over the country are helping me blog the heck out of this story and several of you have donated money through me or through charitable agencies. People are emailing asking what they can do, mailing donations, offering groups to do manual labor and one woman is putting together a group of volunteers to clean and preserve family photos. Dan knows of one stack in particular that was barely rescued from the trash pile.
Asking for help and then watching the beginnings of all of your kindness pour in is really inspiring. We’ve got a good start here but we can do more. I for one feel a little skeezy at the thought of accepting ad revenue on the site when so many people are linking to me for flood relief so Daring Young Mom proceeds for December will go to the relief efforts.
If you’ve ever been through something like this and you have some insight into what would have helped you, please share your ideas. I’d love any suggestions for relief or offers of help.
And, as our kids are bound to say when they call us collect from their freshman college dorms, “I love you. Please send money.”
For more information, please read yesterday’s post.
*Photos by Leroy Collinwood*
I had a personal post that I had to get up before I could jump in on this. I’ve finally gotten that done and will go send people your way next.
Personally I’ve never experienced a flood, but I lost an awful lot to an apartment fire. The best thing I got was a Target gift card. I was able to replace kitchen items, clothing, make up, music, all sorts of things with that card.
The second best thing was the co-worker who, weeks afterwards, honestly told me that I still smelled like smoke. Turned out the shirt I was wearing had a tiny hole in it from an ember so the 3 washings and drying out in the sun didn’t actually save that item. I wish someone had said something the first time I wore it.
And in case no one has told you today, you’re doing a good job. 🙂
Wow. I just read your flood posts to my kids and I cried. We are a little south of the hurricanes here, and we are so lucky. But the weather has been so odd! We have had only one third of the average rainfall for this rainy season… What is the dry season going to be like? Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the families that have suffered losses in the floods.
Oh, these posts are so terribly, terribly sad. I was happy to be able to donate something.
Thanks for the update, I posted today and hopefully that will help! Love to you for doing this.
Some guys from my ward went up on Saturday. The high council speaker Sunday was also there. He said he’d never be the same after experiencing that trip. How awful.
P.S. This has inspired me to get all my pictures in something waterproof.
I want to say something about how touched and inspired I am by your compassion and participation in their recovery but I don’t know where to begin. Just know that I am, and I plan to contribute whatever I can.
We, too live in the great NW! How deeply saddened we have all been! Financially, I have nothing to give. But, please know that prayers are going your direction nonstop!
The photos are going great!! I am so glad that these are saved. Please let everyone know that family photos need not be thrown out with the muddy toaster. There is hope!
Check out my blog for an update!