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A quick little...

Happy Labor Day Weekend (+ Harvey Support)

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Today is the last day of this big 2 week job I’ve been shooting in New York (2 weeks!). It hasn’t been easy, but my goodness it’s been inspiring, challenging, and the kind of job that fills your brain so full that you don’t have time to process anything else. I can’t wait to show you (that’s a sneak peek of the first project with Nikki from My Scandinavian Home).

I fly home tonight and will have a weekend or more with those kiddos. Of course all I want to do is cuddle them but I know that two hours in the exhaustion that is inside of me will knock me over finally and I’ll be like ‘oh right . . . parenting . . .’ Luckily it’s my birthday, and it’s a weekend so we can relax the rules and pull the whole ‘ice cream/pizza/family movie day.’

I also haven’t had a chance to really keep up on the news or process the Harvey devastation, and as someone who knows the emotional importance of ‘home’ I can’t imagine how devastated so many Houston families must feel.

The idea that everything you own, care about, and have worked hard your entire life for could be swept away in all but a couple of days because of something completely out of your control is truly terrifying. I can’t imagine it, and I hope my kids never have to either.

But just because we can’t imagine it doesn’t mean that we can stay in avoidance of it, and be apathetic to other families in need.

So we pulled together a few easy ways to help donate to the cause – organizations that are on the ground helping, even when we can’t. If you know of any others please leave in the comments.

It’s the least we can do.

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Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund – Houston’s Mayor, Sylvester Turner, has set up this fund to directly help those in need. You can Text HARVEY2017 to 91999 or visit the website.

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The Red Cross – To donate you can text text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation or visit the site. You can also donate on iTunes making it extremely easy.

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Salvation Army – With a long history of helping those in need, The Salvation Army’s disaster teams from all over the US have flocked to the south. They plan to stay long after to ensure it’s rehabilitation (which can often be hardest and most financially taxing part of any natural disaster).

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Save the Children – This is an organization working around the clock to help the children and families affected by the storm. You can easily donate on their site.

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All Hands Volunteers – This organization has three different teams on the ground assessing the damage and putting help where help is needed. All donations will go towards the victims and the rebuilding of the community. You can donate as well as become a fundraiser on their site.

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Global Giving – A wonderful crowdsourcing site with a goal of $5 million dollars (they are halfway there). All donations to this organization will go directly to the hurricane relief and the long term rebuild of the Gulf.

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Heart to Heart International – This organization works with local partners and provides much needed medical services for those who need attention during this disaster.

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Southern Baptist Disaster Relief – With over 80,000 trained volunteers, 50 years of experience, and the third largest disaster relief agency in the US, The SBDR is providing crucial relief for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

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Baby2Baby – My dear friend, Joy Cho of OhJoy!, first made me aware of this organization when she hosted a diaper drive with them for families in need. The only thing scarier than being in a disaster like this is being in it with a baby without the basic necessities to care it, and because diapers can take up large quantities of space for a very specific use, other relief efforts will usually opt for stocking food or medical supplies first.

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Airbnb – Airbnb is trying to help get displaced families places to stay. If you are local with space in your home and want to help, please let them know so they can place a family in your home.

I hope this list gives you a chance to feel like you can make a difference. There are many more wonderful organizations helping so please list them in the comments. Sending love to those surviving this devastating hurricane. xx

 

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  1. thank you for posting this, God bless you.
    Happy birthday dear Dmily.

    1. Happy birthday dear Emily.
      Sorry for not proofreading!

  2. Also, check if these organizations accepts frequent flyer points. I rarely fly so I never build up enough points for free flights, but my 9,000 Southwest points were donated to Team Rubicon. I’m sure many other charities accept points and can use the small donations like mine combined with others.

    This essentially cost me nothing – just a little time.

    https://www.southwest.com/html/rapidrewards/promotions/donate-points-charity.html?clk=GSUBNAV-RR-DONATEPOINTS

  3. Happy Birthday Emily 🙂
    Please don’t forget the animal victims of the hurricane…they are even more helpless!

    http://www.houstonspca.org/

    http://www.houstonhumane.org/

    https://sahumane.org/

  4. I appreciate your round ups: decor or disaster relief! This helps me make helping easy…thank you! and happy birthday!

  5. Thank you from this Houstonian and part time LA area girl. Animal shelters are also overflowing with the innocents who have suffered much. If you can spare a bit extra, please don’t forget these charities. Among them are Austin Pets Alive, Wings of Rescue (based in CA) and HSUS. Happy Birthday, Emily!

  6. I so appreciate your drawing attention to this ongoing nightmare. There seems to be legitimate push back on donating to the American Red Cross ( http://www.denverpost.com/2017/08/31/skip-the-red-cross-when-helping-harveys-victims/ ) for this disaster, but the other charities you’ve mentioned are truly compelling. What a great idea to call out Baby2Baby!

  7. In searching for a good place to make donations – hopefully one where a large percentage of dollars given go to direct aid for survivors – I have found this website to be quite useful:

    https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=5239&order=charity

    1. Emily, thank you for posting about Harvey. I’m a native Houstonian and this is by far the worst flood this city has ever seen. It is so widespread and heartbreaking – and houses are still flooding from waters being released from the reservoirs. To piggyback off of Molly’s link (awesome source), here’s another for local Houston charities:

      https://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2017/8/29/donate-to-these-local-houston-charities?utm_source=Full+Contact+List&utm_campaign=1769819125-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_08_31&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c80e7212ed-1769819125-87353057

    2. Molly, thanks for posting the link to Charity Navigator because I was going to link to it. It’s always best to make sure the charity is legitimate and not criminals trying to cash in on people’s desire to help.

      For anyone not in the Houston area, take this as a reminder to check your own emergency preparedness. Do you know what disasters can strike in your area? Do you have supplies and knowledge on what to do? Consider taking a first aid or Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course in your area.

      September is National Preparedness Month
      http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/safety-at-home-emergency-preparedness.aspx

      And Happy Birthday, Emily!

  8. Humane Society! They’re working round the clock to save all the poor defenseless animals that were left behind.

  9. I would be weary of the Red Cross and Salvation Army. I know they’re everyone’s first thought, but they’ve been known to have shady business practices and they’re incredibly biased against LGBTQ communities.

  10. I ended up donating to Global Giving and the Houston Food Bank as both rate very high with Charity Navigator.

  11. the Beacon – has permanent shower and laundry facilities in its day center for the homeless. It’s facilities were not damaged and it is exactly those assets that will be so important in the days ahead. If you are looking for a local charity run by a great team they will be good stewards of your support. I also love thinking of the least amount us being able to share their space with others in need.
    Beaconhomeless.org

  12. Thank you Emily! I’m in Houston and really appreciate this post! I’ve also been thankful for your regular daily content these past few days- it’s been a nice distraction to come here and read your blog. Thanks!!

  13. Debbie Downer here but I have to suggest that we make the victims of this devastating nightmare whole- but NOT where it will just happen again and again etc. This area has allowed development on what would have been soil able to absorb a lot of the flood waters and I am reading that there are homes that have been restored multiple times. Reservoirs built in 1940! repaired with sandbags? WTF? Sandy cost 60 billion and we replaced all that right on the water…this is going to cost more than 60 billion..but no money for better schools and healthcare-not health insurance- healthcare. Again-Dumb? or Smart?

    I had a friend whose sister lived in Alabama and finally on the third restoration of their home the government agency informed them it was the last time. They sold and moved to a dryer safer State.

    We must be kind and help but we don’t have to be stupid. to repeat a negative action over and over expecting a different result is …Insanity -or someone lots smarter than I am opined.

  14. Samaritans purse is 4 star on charity navigator. There have already been scam artists collecting money so please be careful and don’t fall for a scam. People that can do that at a time of so much suffering are despicable.

    Emily, get some rest, enjoy those precious babies and happy BD!

  15. mayor turner is a lawyer has promised to represent personally every undocumented person who is busted as the result of calling for rescue or assistance. he really deserves our support, thank you for highlighting his fund.

  16. aspca is giving 100% of today’s donations to rescue and relief of the animals affected. thank you all who give so generously to people and animals. in times like these you see the good when so much bad is out there. it can help restore some faith in humanity.

  17. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has an amazing humanitarian aid program. You can donate here. https://www.lds.org/church/news/7-ways-you-can-help-with-hurricane-harvey-relief?cid=HP_TH_31-8-2017_dPAD_fMNWS_xLIDyL1-B_&lang=eng

    1. It says right on the tithing slip that the church can use the money any way it sees fit. So you can designate it is for Harvey, but it may end up going toward the leaderships’ 120K per year living allowances or business developments like City Creek Mall. There is no transparency whatsoever. The church has amazing loving members. but has an absolutely abysmal record of giving as a percentage of it’s intake. I can provide sources if needed.

  18. This Houston follower also appreciates your post acknowledging the tragedy and suffering in my adopted hometown. Thank you.

  19. Emily, thank you for your Harvey post. I am from the Houston area and have noticed every single time a blogger has mentioned Harvey.

    For what it’s worth, belongings aren’t washed away by flood: they stay where they are and sit in three feet of floodwater for two days or more and are ruined beyond repair. Particle board swells. Drywall turns to mush. Mold grows everywhere. Everything–even every blade of grass–is covered with sticky and foul-smelling mud. Every single item has to be carried to the curb to be hauled away. You can’t imagine the piles of trash.

    Anyway, thank you for your post!

  20. This is great, and it is so important to help. And I love you, so please don’t take this too personally – – more as an opportunity for education!

    I was disappointed to see the Salvation Army on your list. They continue to have anti-gay positions, and have historically been atrocious to the LGBTQ community. And I know you love us gays, and don’t want to support any organization that is so prejudiced! While recently the SA has made statements about how they are willing to serve all people in need, “these statements completely ignore the reality that the Salvation Army continues to maintain anti-gay theological stances, and continues to discriminate against its own employees and their partners.”

    I stole that last, so very well put line, from this summary of the SA and the LGBTQ community: tp://www.huffingtonpost.com/zinnia-jones/the-salvation-armys-histo_b_4422938.html

    There are so many great organizations to support, give the Salvation Army a miss!

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