“So I hear things are still bad,” they say.
“They are,” I answer.
“What can I do? What organization can I donate to?”
It’s well intentioned, from big hearted people. They know my town is still destroyed. They want to help.
So I send them to an organization and they probably give some of their hard earned money to it.
But I wish I could give them my real answer.
After Hurricane Michael hit, we received an influx of donations. Toys for kids, diapers, formula, bottled water … SO much bottled water … tarps, mattresses, food—non perishable of course.
But what can you donate seven months later?
Can you donate my friend back her job? She lost it because the company she works for was downsizing due to storm damage.
Can you donate a conscience to this other company who fired my other friend because they wanted to hire someone for less to cut costs?
Can you donate understanding and compassion to business owners who don’t live here and think their employees should be operating at full mental capacity by now?
Can you donate vacations to everyone so they can see trees again?
Can you donate a soul to those charging three times the normal amount for rent?
Can you donate a house to my neighbor next door? It’s completely gone, like completely and totally gone.
Can you donate a fence to my neighbor down the road? The insurance company wouldn’t give them enough for a new fence. Their two dogs keep getting loose and they chase me while I’m walking to pick up my kids from school. We’re on a first name basis now.
Can you donate some sand to fill our shorelines at the bay? I can’t let my kids play down there because the metal storm wall is poking through.
Can you donate the light back into my peoples’ eyes?
Can you donate some shade? It’s heating up faster here thanks to the lack of trees.
Can you donate enough childcare slots? Most people are still on a waiting list as many places have not reopened.
Can you donate more property adjusters and contractors? Everyone is backed up.
Can you pay off everyone’s loans they took out to get work done on their homes because the insurance companies wouldn’t pay up?
Can you donate a stay on hurricane season? We only have one shelter right now for a city of 100,000.
Can you donate a heart to the people in Washington who hold our lives in their hands?
Can you donate a hope for the future?
Can you donate perseverance and strength?
Can you donate a roof for my neighbors?
Can you donate walls to my friends?
What can you donate?
I wish I knew.
Can you donate the pieces my town needs to be whole?
Can you donate the years of memories that were taken away in one day?
Can you donate peace of mind?
I wish you could.
I wish what we needed could be donated.
We appreciate the thoughts and the love, even if it can’t rebuild our town.