Bridging Troubled Water

Dr. Yolanda Bruce Brooks

The sun has finally appeared in Houston. Displaced families who have homes to return to, if accessible, will begin to assess the damage. Those who have lost their homes and their possessions will begin to rebuild their lives. It’s a process that will take a long time.

There will be much to do as Houstonians start the recovery, report and repair process. The process will be slow, arduous and overwhelming. However, we have seen grief and pain from the traumatic experience eased from the assistance and support of strangers helping strangers. Let’s keep this attitude going.

If you know someone in Houston affected by the storm, consider passing along the following information. As the water recedes, increased assistance will be needed. Beyond donations (monetary, food, clothing) there will be limitless opportunities.

The Personal Touch Establish contact with friends/family and create daily check-ins.  Check to see which coaches/players may be affected. Some are coordinating their own fundraisers (i.e. JJ Watt) which you can support here.  His fundraiser has reached $17 million…and counting.  Houston Rockets point guard James Harden has also made a personal contribution of  $1 million dollars to relief efforts along with a $10 million dollar contribution from Houston Rockets owner, Leslie Alexander. 

It doesn’t stop there.  For a list of the many generous individuals and teams across the sports world, you can read the growing list in Sports Illustrated here: Hurricane Harvey Donations throughout the Sports World.

The emotional impact of disasters is real.  Keep in mind you are a normal person reacting to a significant event.  By identifying your feelings to the distressing event it can help you cope more effectively with your feelings, thoughts and behaviors, and help you recover.  The American Psychological Association provides an excellent article which you can read here: Recovering Emotionally from Disaster

Disasters affect children differently.  How they understand things depends on their age and their development.  The University of Michigan Medical has an excellent article with resources and recommendations you can read here: Helping Children Cope with Disasters and Traumatic Events

If you prefer to give locally, support groups firmly rooted in the affected area. In Harvey’s aftermath, that might mean the United Way of Greater Houston and the Greater Houston Community Foundation, which both have established relief funds and a long history of service to the local community.

The Houstonian Magazine has put together a comprehensive list of local organizations that are asking for help.  They know the people they are helping.  You can find their comprehensive list here

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, the American Red Cross is always there in times of need. “We aspire to turn compassion into action so that all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope.” You can donate here:

The Salvation Army was established in 1865. It is now a worldwide organization designed so “Every program we offer is rooted in our passion to serve God by serving the lost, the vulnerable, the needy, the poor, the hurting, the helpless, and the hopeless.”  You can donate here:

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ― Charles Dickens

Image Source ABC13 Houston (Twitter)

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