You have probably seen memes that quote Fred Rodgers's recollection of advice that his mother gave him when he was young, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"
[If you are a scroller and get impatient with reading backstories, please scroll to the bottom to see how you can partner with me to be a helper to some kids in post Hurricane Ida Louisiana. If you're a reader and like a good story, read on!😊]
There have been plenty of scary things in the news. Scary for our kids, and scary for adults too! We live outside of Houston, Texas. One of those scary things, that still haunts people here with PTSD every time we have heavy rain (not exaggerating at ALL, you guys), was Hurricane Harvey. Tied with Hurricane Katrina (2005) as the costliest tropical cyclone on record, Hurricane Harvey (2017) caused so much damage in our area because it stalled out right over us, instead of passing through like other hurricanes have done.
In the areas from Houston to Beaumont rainfall totaled 30"- 60 1/2" in just a few days. Homes, businesses, schools, and communities that had never before flooded in the long history of hurricane activity down here were filled with water. People were being rescued by boats & helicopters. As I sit here typing this I can feel my anxiety rising.
We were fortunate - the home we now live in did not flood. We had only moved here to League City the year before from the neighborhood in Friendswood where we had lived for nine years. We still owned our old home there, which was now a rental. We watched the news, followed Space City Weather updates minute by minute, stayed tuned in on Facebook - and we watched in horror and helplessness as our old neighborhood flooded and people who had been our friends & neighbors here since we moved from the DFW area were rescued by the Cajun Navy. We felt thankful that our tenants had evacuated, but most of our old neighbors had stayed and our hearts hurt so much for them.
We were trapped in our new neighborhood by flooded roads and bridges between here & there, and unable to get over to our old neighborhood for days. The turmoil, damage & loss were unimaginable when we finally did. The neighborhood was filled with debris and then also quickly with everyone's belongings, as people rushed to empty their homes of anything that had been waterlogged (mold sets in FAST around here and many things are not able to be salvaged). Whole households worth of worldly possessions sat by the curb awaiting trash pick up. It was absolutely gut wrenching to see.
You know what was incredible, though? If you looked, you could also see volunteers going door to door to ask how they could help. People would deliver hot meals, buckets & mucking supplies, clean water, toys & books for the kids... Those whose homes had been spared and who had electricity did laundry in their homes for those who had been flooded, trying to help them get rid of mold and save their clothes, sheets, towels, etc. People came with chainsaws to help cut up trees, came to help rip up carpet and cut away wet walls. HELPERS CAME!
I helped with what I could following that storm, as a stay-home mom with four kids (Jon was just a year old at the time). One of the things that motivated me when I ventured out into my first go at-home business, was to have the ability to be a helper and have a greater reach than I did before.
It has been my great pleasure to be able to fulfill that desire through my business and as you can probably imagine, I especially love to be a helper in areas where hurricanes hit when I am able to. I would love your help now to replace some classroom libraries that were destroyed by Hurricane Ida at the end of August. Ida roared ashore on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and caused severe damage to areas in Louisiana, tying with Hurricane Laura (2020) as the strongest hurricane in the state. If you live in hurricane prone areas, you know how slow the repair & rebuilding can be. It can take years. Repairs and rebuilding continue in Louisiana, and I would love to bless some teachers and students by gifting them some new books as they wait for their community to get back to normal.
Click below to go to the Raining Smiles book drive page & learn more about how you can help me bring some smiles to kids & teachers in Louisiana! Fred Roger's mother's advice to her young son to help him through situations difficult for kids to understand is wonderful. We should definitely look for the helpers to encourage us and remind us that there are still good people in the world, but I think it's even better when we let their helping inspire us to become helpers ourselves! Thanks for being a helper with me!