A personal note from Dr. Sterling Maximo
Seattle has had one of the warmest summers on record, and the blue skies keep coming. However, the recent news of the devastating weather in Southeast Texas is quite a different story.
While I call myself a Seattleite now, I was born and raised in Houston. Fortunately, my family and their houses have been spared, however many friends, neighbors and thousands of families across Southeast Texas have not been as lucky. The images that I see on the news with the half-submerged buildings and freeways-turned-lakes are unrecognizable.
Growing up with semi-regular flooding, I was always struck by one thing in the critical days during and after a storm: people help each other. It seems to be a very basic part of who we are, and it comes out when we are most vulnerable. Strangers are quick to donate time, food, money, clothes, diapers, a couch to sleep on, or any little thing they can offer. I’ve seen this urge to help others shine brightest when the very foundations of health are most obviously threatened. Food and shelter are two of our most basic needs, and these are in jeopardy for so many.
Living in Seattle, I find myself struggling with how to make a difference. I am quite literally so far removed from the devastation. Luckily, there are great organizations that are already on the ground running. If you, like me, are searching to find ways to make a difference please consider giving to the following organizations. Many of these organizations also have local chapters where you can help your more immediate neighbors in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest facing homelessness and hunger.
American Red Cross — The organization has shelters open, and is shipping truckloads of supplies for distribution. Volunteers are also in place. Don’t forget that donating blood is another incredible way to contribute.
Salvation Army —The Salvation Army is deploying 42 mobile kitchens — each of which can serve an average of 1,500 meals per day — to staging areas in Dallas and San Antonio. They’ll also distribute supplies of water, cleanup kits, food, and shelter supplies.
United Way — United Way of Greater Houston has established a Flood Relief Fund. Donations will be used to help with both immediate, basic needs and long-term recovery services such as case management and minor home repair.
Houston Food Bank — Donations to the Houston Food Bank provide meals in emergencies and throughout the year.
Save the Children – Providing family-friendly supplies and services.
Texas Diaper Bank – provides diapers to families in need.
San Antonio Food Bank — The San Antonio Food Bank is collecting monetary donations, along with nonperishable goods and supplies like water, baby food, diapers, flashlights and new batteries.
Austin Disaster Relief – Accepting monetary donations as well as supplies like inflatable mattresses, blankets and toiletries.
Feeding Texas and local food banks — Feeding Texas is coordinating with partner agencies to provide donation coordination and distribution of food to the public.
Houston SPCA and SPCA of Texas —These organizations conduct rescues of pets and farm animals, and provide equipment and shelter in emergencies.
Humane Society of Louisiana — The Humane Society of Louisiana has so far rescued 162 animals from shelters in the hurricane’s path or at risk of flooding.
Thank you for considering.
Sterling Maximo, ND, EAMP