Weekly Writing Challenge: I Wish I Were

Miles away from the devastated northeast corner of the United States, and even farther away from the storm-ravaged Caribbean, it is easy to watch the news, scroll through the online media sources, and murmur to oneself, “such a shame, how awful.”  Skimming through Facebook posts from friends close to and far from the path of Hurricane Sandy, reports are shared of the damage, the fatalities, the early estimates of reconstruction timelines and costs.  One can sit back and say, “I wish I were closer, then I could help.”

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

I can help.  You can help.  We all can help.

1.  “I wish I were able to help financially.” 

Numerous nonprofit relief organizations are already assisting victims of Hurricane Sandy.  According to ABC news, these organizations are providing shelter, food and other supplies, and are seeking donations:

  • The American Red Cross ~ call 800-Red-Cross or text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or make a donation through their website.
  • The Salvation Army ~ donate through their website
  • Feeding America ~ donate through their website
  • AmeriCares ~ donate through their website
  • World Vision ~ go to their website to donate, or text “GIVEUSA” to 777444 to make a $10 contribution to the organization’s disaster response.
  • Save the Children ~ donate through their website

I encourage you to conduct your own due diligence efforts if you decide that making a monetary donation is a way you are able to help in the wake of this disaster.  Charity Navigator is an online resource I have found helpful in evaluating nonprofit organizations, but there are also charity review and evaluation resources through the Better Business Bureau’s Charities link, and GuideStar nonprofit reports.  I made donations to the Red Cross and Save the Children on behalf of our family today.

2.  “I wish I were able to volunteer.”

Samaritan’s Purse has a “Disaster Relief Volunteer Network.”  Teams of up to 15 people can register to help out with a variety of volunteer needs through this site.  The link for Hurricane Sandy volunteer efforts is here.

3.  “I wish I were able to donate blood.”

The New York Blood Center is seeking donations, and the ABC news article noted that routine blood drives were cancelled due to the storm, further crippling the usual necessary blood supply.

The American Red Cross also is encouraging people wherever they live to donate blood, which can help bolster blood supplies and provide surplus for shipments to those locations in need.  For blood donation-specific information, check out the American Red Cross website specific to blood donation resources.

It is time to change “I wish I were” to “I am glad I did.”

Thank you to ABC News, the Huffington Post, and CNN for sharing these disaster relief resources.

Lake Bay Sunrise ~ Northern Minnesota
Hoping for that proverbial calm after the storm.

“Each of us as human beings has a responsibility to reach out to help our brothers and sisters affected by disasters. One day it may be us or our loved ones needing someone to reach out and help.”

~ Michael W. Hawkins, American Red Cross

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was written in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge, this week’s theme being, “I Wish I Were.”  Join in with your own response anytime before Friday, by completing the phrase, “I Wish I Were” — read more about the challenge here.