As a young person, I’ve heard my fair share of “you’re not allowed to,” or “you can’t” when it comes to doing things simply because of my age. And I get it, there are a lot of things that I am not qualified for at nineteen, like drinking legally or renting a car. The qualifying word adult didn’t apply to me until I turned eighteen, and even then with the word young is placed in front of it. There are countless things we cannot do at this age, many of which we have no business doing in the first place. But there will always be one thing we can do, especially at this age when so much else seems limited:
We can help others.
In the past two weeks, this world has seen an alarming number of destructive weather events that have left people without homes, shelter, food, family members, and so much more. As we see efforts like Starbucks and Amazon donating money to aid in food distribution in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma is hot on its heels and proving to add just as much fuel to the flame. If you want to keep up with Irma’s coverage, you can find it here, because the storm seems to be picking up speed.
Speaking of flames, have you heard of the Eagle Creek Fire in Oregon? Oregon is home to so many gorgeous landscapes that can be hard to find anywhere else— unfortunately, soon it might be hard to find in Oregon as well. The Eagle Creek Fire is currently burning through the Columbia River Gorge, as well as jumping to Washington burning more ground along the way. Just beginning last week, LA’s La Tuna fire burned through over 7,000 acres of land. According to LA daily news, this was said to be the largest fire in the city since 1961. We may be almost through summer, but fire season is far from over and there is likely more to come. The good thing is, we can help.
So what can we do?
First of all, when it comes to fires, we all need to pay attention to what is going on around us. Not only was the Eagle Creek Fire started by a teenager throwing a smoke bomb into a ravine, but it was also not stopped by those he was with or any passing adults at the time. It is not just the actions of the person who threw the starter, but also of those who did not intervene that resulted in the destruction we are now seeing. In order to help, some of Portland’s professional teams are donating blood while other local businesses are donating food and providing shelter for those displaced by the fire. If you would like to donate, volunteer, or help in any way, take a look at this link— every little bit counts.
With hurricanes like Harvey and Irma raging throughout the globe, the destruction is off the charts. As Irma has already impacted a string of islands, including Anguilla, Barbuda, St. Martin, and the US Virgin Islands, there is more damage yet to come. Heading towards Cuba, the Bahamas, and Florida, threatening to hit Georgia and South Carolina too, there is a lot we can do to help:
Show your support
Through this link you will find the non-profit organizations that are helping those in need. You can also separately donate to the Red Cross and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, who both need more people to register and volunteer in places like Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Organizations like UNICEF, Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross, ConPRmetidos, Convoy of Hope, Oxfam are all providing help on the ground for the islands already hit and could use both volunteers and donations. When it comes to the animals, the SPCA International is providing cover and assembling groups to rescue animals caught in the wreckage. Even if all you want/can do is donate, Global Giving has a goal of $2 million dollars to raise in efforts for Hurricane Irma recovery.
There are so many ways to help the people affected by the storms and the fires we see emerging around the world. If you are a person of faith, many are taking to prayer and hope towards those who are in need. And no matter who you are, your race, religion, or beliefs in this world, anyone can send good thoughts and check in on loved ones who may be in the path of these disasters.
For anyone still expecting danger to come their way, stay safe, know that the One American Appeal is supporting you all, and my thoughts are with you.