My thoughts and prayers are with the folks in Louisiana today. This past week, families have experienced loss, and worlds have been turned upside down as epic flooding hit the Baton Rouge area. It’s gut wrenching to hear and read about the lives lost in the floodwaters, the families displaced, and the communities that have been devastated. We work with several school districts in that region, and I’m struck by the severity of what happened.
Honestly, it’s easy for me to feel a little helpless in moments like this. I can email and call the people I know and work with in the area… but what can I do to help besides offer words of encouragement? Maybe you have had similar thoughts and feelings at times. Here are three ideas that I jotted down to help. I share them in the hope that they may inspire similar thinking in you:
- Offer financial assistance. Funds For Learning has made a donation to the American Red Cross designated for the Louisiana Floods. We are also matching personal staff donations dollar-for-dollar. The minimum amount for the Red Cross is $10. Can you offer financial assistance?
- Use other resources to help. I don’t have a boat or sandbag that I can use to help anyone. But I do have a newsletter that is read by thousands of people. I can put that to use. Similarly, you may not have a boat (or a newsletter, for whatever that’s worth), but there might be something else you can do. Maybe you can share the donation link through your social media. Will you help raise awareness?
- Remember it is all local. We work with schools and libraries nationwide. Yet, each one is the local school or library, filled with local people who have local needs. Today, more than ever, it’s easy to become desensitized to the hurt and destruction broadcast to us via instant newsfeeds. However, behind the headlines, there are real people experiencing real pain. You might not feel capable, or even have the desire, to help anyone in Louisiana. That’s okay. But, chances are, there is someone nearby you that you could help. Will you do something today to help someone?
I hesitated writing this article out of concern for slighting someone who may be facing a challenging situation somewhere else. For example, Southern California is being ravaged by wildfires. Furthermore, I know that individuals everywhere are experiencing personal difficulties. So why write this article about the Louisiana floods? Because I believe it’s important that we, in a spirit of decency and connectedness, take time to acknowledge the people in and around our lives. To not acknowledge one situation for fear of missing another is counterproductive. I understand that the world is full of heartbreaking situations. I can’t see them all, but I can see that Louisiana residents have been hit hard by a terrible flood. Today my thoughts and prayers are with them.