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Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Southeastern Texas and left destruction in its wake. High winds caused widespread property damage. Continuing rainfall threatens widespread flooding. The situation remains both fluid and serious.
Those residents who evacuated want badly to safely return to their homes so that they can assess damage and begin rebuilding and repairing. While they wait, they may need items urgently.
Says Give InKind founder Laura Malcolm:
“It is easy to feel helpless in an emergency. But there is always something to be done to provide support, even when we are far away. We want to empower anyone to help, from anywhere.”
Give InKind spoke with Lori Mullins Ennis, a coastal resident who is a veteran of many hurricanes. She underscores the immense power of community.
“Community assistance is imperative. The aftermath on coastal communities is often worse than the hurricane itself. The world sort of moves on as the storm moves away … but flooding is such a big issue for days and weeks after. People are just desperate to get back to their homes and salvage what they can. Giving and service make such a difference.”
Evacuees in temporary housing may have need of shelter. Depending upon the state of their homes, they may be more comfortable in hotels. Underwriting the cost of staying in a hotel is a generous gift, indeed.
Gift certificates to restaurants are also useful. Even if a family is back at home, it is likely that they are cleaning up and the daily grind of shopping and cooking may be logistically complicated (if not impossible.)
As these returning evacuees assess damage, they may need to repair or rebuild parts of their homes. Consider a gift card to a store where they can buy specific necessary supplies.
Above all, stay in touch. Depending upon the power grid and wireless networks, service may be spotty. Still, efforts to stay in touch are a great gift to those in need of temporary assistance. Reaching out can lift people up and out of the frustration and devastation these storms so often deliver.