Thursday, September 8, 2011

Caught in the Texas Wildfires... reaching out for help!

Good morning everyone, I'm just popping in to touch base and apologize for the lack of posts this week. I'll be working toward getting back on schedule for Tutorial Tuesday and What I Pinned {Wednesday} next week. I appreciate your patience and understanding in the meantime.

As many of you know I live in Texas, just north of the Houston area- and if you have been following the news you've probably heard about the wildfires ravaging our beautiful state right now.


Tens of thousands of homes have been burned to the ground, and millions of acres have been scorched. There have also been several confirmed deaths throughout the state, as well as the loss of hundreds of head of horses, cattle, and other animals. Things are not good.


{animals left defenseless against the oncoming flames}

Many have also been evacuated from their homes in an effort to save lives, but even many of these people have lost everything. When a fire takes a home, it takes everything in it. You don't realize how much irreplaceable "stuff" you have until you risk losing it all. Photos, heirlooms, mementos, toys, clothing, furniture... EVERYTHING is just gone.

{acres and acres of land scorched and still burning...}

{Plumes of smoke behind the Austin (our state capitol) skyline}

The thing about central and southeast Texas is that it is HEAVILY wooded. We've also been in an extreme drought for most of the year, so every time one of these fires sparks up it's like setting a match to a haystack, the whole thing goes up in a matter of seconds. For that reason, these fires are proving difficult to contain, and nearly impossible to squelch as they spread mercilessly throughout our state.

{photos from central Texas, Austin, Bastrop, Magnolia and Montgomery}

My husband and I are uncomfortably close to the fires in our area, but not close enough to be evacuated yet. There are about 50 large fires burning 10-15 miles west of our house, and as long as they don't move much closer we'll be okay. However, you can see the smoke in the air and the sky is hazy with soot so living smack in the middle of 300 acres of forest is not at all comforting.

{that's SMOKE in the sky there folks, not clouds... way too close for comfort}

We have been fortunate so far, but many others have not. Unlike other recent disasters (Irene, flooding, earthquakes, etc.) for some reason, we are not getting any federal funding for this disaster. I'll leave the politics out of it, but let's just say our governor does not have a great relationship with the federal government. Unfortunately, it's our people who are suffering.

So in the true spirit of Texas' neighborly hospitality, we are throwing in together to help those who have lost everything get back on their feet. My husband and his crew is working 'round the clock locally to gather clothes, food, toys, shoes, air mattresses, towels, sheets and other "basics" for those who have lost everything. If you are interested in sending whatever you have, send me an email and I'll give your our mailing address.

I have also created a ChipIn account so those of you who would like to help financially can do so. Even $1 goes a long way to helping such a desperate situation. All proceeds will be donated to the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund based out of Austin, Texas. I will be putting the ChipIn widget up in the sidebar on the right for the foreseeable future, for easy access. It is completely secure, and is protected by Paypal policies and regulations.



Please feel free to share this post as often and wherever you can. Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, wherever. We need help, and those of us who are still standing are working hard to help our neighbors out.
 
There are shelters available to those displaced from their homes, as well as hotels offering their available space for those who might need special assistance, or who have small children. There are also several ranchers offering pasture for displaced animals, or those needing to evacuate their herds. 

If you need more info, or would like a local address to send physical goods to, please email me at:

littlebirdiebaby {at} gmail {dot} com

I will be fielding emails and phone calls 24/7, so don't hesitate to get in touch.

Prayers are also VERY welcome!!!


XOXO



3 comments:

Brandy @ OceanBelle said...

I added the link to my blog post. Stay safe friend!

Rachael @ The Little Birdie said...

Thanks Brandy! :) We're doing our best... bags packed in case we have to run, lol.

Sarah @ Sarahndipities said...

Hi! I hope you are doing ok! I wish we had some extra $ to help out right now...but know that you've all been in our prayers here!

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