When I talk about the eLearning Guild Community, the phrase I always use is “Together we are better”. This simple 4-word phrase describes the WHY of our community. It’s about people with a common bond coming together for a greater good. This is true in the context of our goals as learning and performance professionals because it is part of a larger truth that applies to all of us as human beings.
While Hurricane Harvey has shown us the worst of what nature can bring upon our communities, it has also placed a spotlight on the best of what we can do as human beings when we come together to help those from our community in need. Here’s just one example.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 31, 2017
There are hundreds of stories like the one in this video. When disaster strikes, we come together because together we are better.
How You Can Help
There are a number of ways we can offer assistance to those affected by the storm. The New York Times has a comprehensive article that lists a number of different ways we can all help that is worth reading. In addition to providing a number of ways to help, it also addresses resources that you can use to avoid the scams that inevitably emerge during times like these.
Here are a few suggestions from the article:
- If you’re in Texas and have been displaced by the storm, here’s how to get help.
- If you are local to the affected areas and want to help…
- here’s a list of places where you can drop off donations.
- Blood banks are reporting critical shortages; consider donating if you can
- Animals are affected by the storm as well, and the Houston Humane Society and other organizations are helping there.
- If you’re not in the affected areas but want to help…
- The American Red Cross is accepting donations on its website. You can also easily donate $10 by texting HARVEY to 90999.
- Americares takes medicine and supplies to people affected by the disaster.
- Catholic Charities provides food, shelter, clothing and support services (to anyone regardless of religious beliefs)
These are just a few options. The New York Times article has many more options if you’d like to donate to a more specific need.
A Personal Suggestion
As I watch videos of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, my heart aches even more because I know the pain these people are going through. I live on Long Island in New York, in an area that was affected by Superstorm Sandy years ago. My home and the homes of some of my friends and family were impacted. The memories of that time are painful and still seem fresh even years later. What we went through, devastating as it was, is nothing compared to the images coming out of Houston and the surrounding areas.
I bring up my experiences with Sandy because they provide me with a unique perspective that I would like to share. Over the days and even weeks to come, we will all be reminded daily of the impact Hurricane Harvey has had via the coverage provided by the media. But eventually, something else will grab our national attention. The impact of this storm will stay with the affected communities long after the media has moved on. People will still need help.
When this happens, I encourage you to continue to remember the people in Texas and other affected areas. More importantly, remember them in the form of actions instead of just thoughts. Find ways to continue to support those affected in the months ahead and beyond. Realize that for many, recovering from this storm will take years.
Here’s a suggestion: Go to your calendar and create an appointment on December 1 that simply says “Help those affected by Harvey”. You don’t even need to be more specific than that as long as you’re the type of person that will see that appointment as a trigger to go find the best way to help at that time.
I chose December 1 because it’s a time when many people are also thinking about holiday shopping – something that won’t even be on the radar for many affected families this year. Perhaps there’s a way to bring some joy to a family that could really use some.
That’s just one small idea, but you can apply the calendar idea to any date in the future. Add a few appointments to your calendar in 2018. These people will need help long after the camera crews have moved on.
On behalf of everyone here at The eLearning Guild, I offer our sympathy and support to everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey. I encourage those in our community to help in any way you can.
If we all give a little, we can make a huge difference.