I was able to make the trip over to Vidor this week for the first time since the flooding. A group of family and friends helped Suzette muck out her house. As bad as I expected the damage to be, it was even worse all through town.
The lack of resources in small towns is crippling. They don't have famous athletes like JJ Watt or generous millionaire businessmen like Mattress Mack to raise funds for them or provide shelter. The next town over is flooded, too. And the one after that. There are very few volunteers in small towns because almost everyone flooded and is trying to save themselves. They're doing everything they can to help their neighbors but they need help.
It can be overwhelming to know exactly how to help flood victims. There are many large operations to donate to and equally large concerns of where the money goes.
I want to help the town of Vidor in a couple of very specific ways. Our small towns are struggling and I want to help.
Here are two ways to help a small Texas Town:
I am collecting gift cards in small denominations to put directly into the hands of people that need them.
Gift cards to WalMart, Target, Amazon, Ace Hardware, Home Depot and Lowe's give these family access to supplies immediately.
Some smart Instagram friends e-mailed me e-gift cards that I was able to distribute that very same day! I love that!
I know you have friends that want to help and are trying to figure out how to do that, well here's how; get your reading group, your Bunko group, your neighbors on your street, your kids baseball team and start collecting gift cards in small denominations and send them to me.
I'm not a professional fundraiser, I'm not a social worker but I have direct connections to the people of Vidor and they need our help now. I don't have time to waste on figuring out the perfect way to help someone and neither do you.
I do know we can help a lot of people even a little bit if we all pitch in.
The other way I want to help Vidor is in a bigger way. I saw first hand the damage and I know how limited the resources are for the victims. I'm learning that if you want something you must use your voice. Put the message out there anyway you can.
There is a huge need for basic building materials in Vidor. Survivors of this flood are stepping back into their homes for the first time to survey the damage. The next step for them is clean up.