I want to do something to help. That thought has been running through my mind this morning as I have contemplated how fortunate my family is to have avoided damage from the recent storms. We didn't even lose power and so many people lost eveything. I have been thinking of ways a large church can organize an event to get people together and supply what is needed for them to get their lives back in order. Something like a "StormAid" concert day on our property. While investigating what the most pressing need might be, I found some alarming stories.
It seems people have been generous to contribute much needed supplies, while others are not. In one story a small town in Alabama had no place to store much needed canned food because they had been inundated with used underwear and broken toys. It seems some people have used this tragedy to get rid of unwanted items around the house. The residents of these storm stricken communities are wading through people's refuse while they sort through the rubbage of their homes. In one instance a city official said that the contributions of unwanted items was a bigger eyesore than the rubble left from the storm.
It seems to me this would add insult to injury. The fact that others would offer me their dirty underwear would be humiliating. These people haven't lost their dignity, just their homes. I'm sure they're doing just fine with their own dirty underwear. How about new and clean clothes? Why not purchase a new toy for a child whose lost everything? In doing so we can help add value to their lives as well as our own. The truth is most Americans are generous and good hearted people. Unfortunately, there are others who are not. I wonder what some of these people will claim on their taxes next year under charitable contributions. How much is a broken toy worth? How about a pair of previously owned BVD's?
Let us be generous and wise. I am watching to see what is really needed in these communities. Let us be able to respond to the needs of others in a way that does the most good. For those of us who were spared from the storm it is the least we can do.