Offering Hope in the Wake of Natural Disasters – A Question

Hi all, it’s been a minute. We were doing the whole getting married thing! But we’re back, until our honeymoon at the end of next week. But while we’ve been merrily (marry-ly? sorry couldn’t help myself) celebrating our wedding with our closest family and friends, mother nature has been wrecking havoc on so many people’s lives. Houston, Florida, St. Martin, Puerto Rico, the earthquake in Mexico City area. The tiny island of Dominica, a place that stole my heart when I visited on a cruise 13 years ago, is said to basically be destroyed. People who had so little (besides copious amounts of natural beauty), and have now lost virtually all of it. The little island of Barbuda is said to have had it’s civilization wiped out. Such destruction and sadness.

I am lucky to have not had to deal with it first hand, and that those I know in these areas are safe and sound. Still, as a highly sensitive person who feels things especially deeply, it does affect me – not, of course to the degree of those physically affected or with loved ones struggling in these locations, I’d never compare it to that. Still, the sadness I feel at the destruction, the lives altered and lost, at times overwhelms me.  I look at the TV, I read the articles, I see the photos and think, “I have to help.” The fact that I don’t feel I am is crushing to me. And yet, I feel frozen. Other than monetarily, which I only have so much of, I don’t know how.  Or at least, I don’t know how I can realistically help.  I get emails asking for money for every destination, and yet I don’t have much to give. I receive the emails about fostering dogs that were abandoned and think, “I want to foster them all!” But I neither have the space or the resources to do so. (I realize dogs are not people, but still at least it would be a way to kind of help). I think, “I should just fly down and be there!”, but I also want to keep my jobby-job (i.e. day job that pays me), and I can’t just up and leave with every natural disaster that strikes, which seems to be happening almost daily. Nor do I have the resources (i.e. funds) to do so. One day, I hope that Spread Hope Project will be large enough to be able to do this regularly, but today is not the day.

So I’m wondering, how can I help? How can I offer these people hope, when they have lost so much. What can I, and the Spread Hope Project, reasonably do? I’m truly asking. Can I donate clothing, food, supplies? Are there things I can do from afar, that aren’t just donating money (I don’t mind donating, but after a while I just don’t have the funds)? I’d love to hear your suggestions – especially perhaps the lesser known opportunities that aren’t getting as much public attention, but would still help those affected.

Thank you, for any ideas you can offer!

 

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