Flooding Washington with Relief, Online and In Person

BlogHer Original Post

This past week wreaked havoc in Washington State; Centralia and the surrounding areas are starting to dry out, but the clean-up and rebuilding of homes and lives will be a slow, continuing process.

Carolyn at Crunchytown mentions that the local Mormons have been in the news for helping out, and her husband was amongst them; her only complaint is that she couldn't go as well:

All the volunteers from our church wore yellow shirts and were doing everything they could to help out in this extreme time of need. Dave decided to blow off the very last day of elk season in order to go down to Chehalis to help out in some of the hardest hit areas. I only wish I could go as well, but having a nursing toddler means an all-day excursion is not an option for me.

Proud wife Arline calls her husband Chief Robert W. Scott her hero, detailing his coordination of relief efforts in Thurston County, and concluding:

During this time, I was not able to see much of the man that I love, but am very grateful that he and his personnel were there to protect members of our community during their time of need. Thank you!

(Arline has a running slideshow in her entry of pictures of the flooding in her area. Pictures like those go well beyond 1,000 words in driving home the true extent of the devastation here.)

So women are blogging from Washington, and blogging about the floods and the aftermath, yes. I've seen a number of "We're okay," or "I finally talked to my family and they're safe" sorts of blog entries, as well. But as we saw with Katrina, once again I predict we'll be seeing "mommy movers and shakers" making a difference here with disaster relief. (What a wonderful trend to witness!)

Kathryn from Daring Young Mom has Issued an impassioned plea on her own blog, as well as at the Seattle Moms Blog. She's been right in it:

I spent yesterday demolishing a single mother’s home in hopes of saving it. The main floor of her small house was filled with muddy contaminated water during this week’s record-breaking flood in western Washington. Apparently the water rose so fast that she and her 3 children were unable to get home and move their belongings from the main floor to safety.

4 days later while my 4 girlfriends and I were tearing the sheetrock and insulation from the walls of her home with hammers and shovels, she was still hauling her filthy belongings to temporary housing in garbage bags. A few of her children’s homemade Christmas decorations still clung to the higher walls.

Kathryn reached out to her local church and gathered a garage full of donations in a matter of hours. This -- coupled with the demolition work she'd done all day long -- might've been enough "do-gooding" for someone else. But Kathryn is not satisfied to stop there.

I’m gathering monetary donations which I will use to purchase gift cards to Home Depot and other local businesses with much-needed supplies. We will drive these cards down to Lewis County and, with the direction of local relief workers, give them to the flood victims to meet their immediate needs. Personally, I believe that people are capable of reaching out and helping each other directly.

Please visit either Daring Young Mom or the Seattle Mom's Blog to read Kathryn's excellent post and learn more about how you can help. Kathryn is pledging to take all monies donated to the designated Paypal account and deliver gift cards to Lewis County if you are interested in getting your money directly into the hands of people who need it.

Kathryn also links (and suggests) both The Red Cross and The United Way as good places to go "the traditional route" if you'd like to make a donation to a registered charity.

But the idea that if folks want to help, they can and should just... help. Directly. That's so simple, and yet so powerful. And -- can I just say it? -- so maternal. In the best possible way.

Over at badgerbag, Liz highlights Kathryn's post and says it better than I ever could:

When you see some messed up sexist stereotype in the media about soccer moms in minivans, then think of Kathryn and how she just pitched right in to help people out! Minivan and all.

Keep an eye on that Daring Young Mom, folks. If anyone can flood Washington with relief, I believe she can. With our help.

Contributing Editor Mir also blogs about issues parental and otherwise at Woulda Coulda Shoulda and Cornered Office, as well as sharing the joys of mindful retail therapy at Want Not.

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