Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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So You Wanna Help

As we approach the end of Hurricane Florence, we are going to have to deal with the aftermath.  That means damaged houses, lost jobs, community clean up, and displaced individuals, among other issues.  People will want to help.  Here are a few thoughts about that.

Don’t give used stuff.  People don’t want your old clothes, and someone has to wash, bleach, iron, sort and transport that stuff.  It’s not free by the time it’s all done.  And it’s not uncommon for bugs to become an issue while it’s being stored.  Give money instead.  That way agencies can buy things that are needed based on demand.

Don’t donate canned goods.  They also have to be sorted, packed, shipped, unpacked and distributed.  I’m told a 69 cent can of beans can end up costing $3.00 by the time all that is done.  Plus it takes manpower that might be better spent on other tasks, like debris removal.  If you want to run a can drive, please give the bounty to a local food pantry where it can do the most good.

Do give money.  First of all it allows agencies to buy what they really need.  The American Red Cross might supply beds to displaced survivors but they need cots and blankets to do that, which wear out over time and need to be replaced.  Second, many agencies give out gift cards or pay utility bills, which are obviously much easier to do with cash.

Do give blood.  Not only is there likely to be an increased need, but blood drives in the affected areas have been cancelled so supplies may be down throughout the region.  If you can’t afford a cash donation, giving blood is a good move.

Now maybe you’ve decided to give up this morning’s latte to help disaster victims, but what can you do with that $5.00?  You’ve heard all the stories about charitable organizations where 90% of the money goes to internal expenses like executive salaries.  If you decided to help, no doubt you want the most of your money to go to the disaster.  A good site to check out agencies is National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster .  Their landing page is all about helping Florence victims.  Another good list of options is this one from Fast Company.  Notice the emphasis on giving money or time.

All of which is to say, please give but be smart about it.  Give what people need and choose responsible organizations.  Be wise and be kind.  Your heart will be happier.


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Waiting for the Storm

I have been on furlough for several months now and I’m dying to go back to work.  That means I am watching the weather.  I have become an old person, I watch the weather channel now.

There are three major storm fronts right now.  Hurricane Florence is heading toward the east coast.  It’s expected to be Cat 3 or Cat 4 and should make landfall somewhere between Charleston and Hatteras so everything from north Florida to North Carolina.  Hurricane Olivia is headed toward Hawaii, as if Hurricane Lane and the volcanic eruption weren’t enough of a problem.  And there is supposed some kind of super storm headed toward Guam.  Tropical storm Mangkhut is expected to make landfall on Tuesday, I keep hearing it’s 3 storms on their way to Guam but I can’t find a map of that.

I have received an email about resting up this weekend and being prepared for next week, and one about being sure my family has a disaster plan while I’m gone.  Looks like the government is expecting something to happen in the next week or two and wants us to be ready to be deployed.

I can’t wait.  I want to work and I want an adventure.  I don’t hope for bad things to happen, but bad things do happen and I want to help out.

So this week while you’re thinking good thoughts for people, think one for me.