Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Wake Up Call

Back in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans, the day after everyone thought they'd dodged a bullet until the levees broke. 

If you didn't know then, getting to New Orleans is only possible via a few routes, the biggest being I-10 which stretches for hours inbetween exits.   We had friends who had family in the most threatened areas and they drove to my parents home to wait out the storm and its aftermath until Hurricane Rita made everyone evacuate from my home town for the same reasons.  

I remember in the weeks following, there were constant news casts and the 1-800 number for Red Cross flashed across the screen almost continually.  The NFL did a pitch during Sunday games and everyone was invested and involved in trying desperately to show they cared.  

Like past hurricanes, it isn't necessarily the size or the wind that did the most damage, it's the water.  Hurricane Ike eliminated the Bolivar Peninsula as I knew it back in 2008.  It is still recovering. 

Now, Staten Island has been destroyed.  I am looking at the television.  I am listening to the news.  I hear reports of tragedies and anger and frustration and politics and opportunism and blame and the like.  I do not see the united cry for the nation to wake up and be generous. 

So here's my little part.  Here in the year of faith, these are our neighbors. They need clothes, food, heat, light, warmth, shelter, comfort, a hint of normal.  Wake up. 

Here are the numbers:

Red Cross: 1-800-733-2767  or here's their website: Red Cross.  (I know some people are really mad at the Red Cross but they still do good work and it's up to you to decide where you will donate your money). 
Catholic Charities USA: 1-800-919-9338 or Catholic Charities USA.
United Way: United Way  (I couldn't find a phone number on the site).

Want to do more? 

1. Give blood.  (It's always needed).
2. Contact friends in NY/NJ/CT and the like and check in. Ask what is needed.  Even if they're okay, they're close to where the need is, so they might have a better sense of what is needed.
3. Ship it...whatever it is. 
4. Hope for good weather for all involved in rescue and coping and clean up.
5. Pray for all who must live with the aftermath of this storm. 

We're not supposed to only give when we're moved.  We're supposed to give in excess of our depth of feeling, because love isn't a feeling, it's an action which requires more of us than what we would otherwise allot if allowed to simply go on our own impulses.  When we are generous, it is an act of grace, and we are cooperating with the Holy Spirit, being the hands and feet of Christ by clothing, feeding, nurturing the hungry souls around us.  Today being the feast of All Souls day and Friday, offer up the pizza you would have had for dinner to make life easy, to make someone else's life that has just been hit pretty hard, a little easier. 

I'm now going to sign off and go figure out what to defrost for tonight's meal. 

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