Yesterday …

Yesterday started with bright blue skies, crisp cool air, and a plan to find a way to help out the victims of the horrible storms.  We both went into our closet and looked for clothing that we could take as a small offering of hope to the those without homes.  I had been holding on to some of my nicer pieces of clothing, hoping to find a way to either sell them for new clothes or alter them to fit.  I decided that I could let them go … I took the plunge … along with the second round of shoes that were too big, I quickly placed them all in a bag to take to the shelter.

Yep, I only have about 4 pairs of pants now and NO Jeans. I have to say I feel like they will find their way to a good home. 🙂

Not very sexy packaging but it would do the job in a hurry.

After bagging up each of our usable clothing, we hopped in my hubby’s work truck, clothed in MrKleanze t-shirts so that people could see with a simple glance that we KNEW how to clean up messes, and off we headed for the Boutwell Auditorium to see what we could find to do.

When we arrived downtown, we found that our goal was blocked off and guarded by police.  Dang!  Were we foiled again???  We had been calling for days with no luck on getting involved.  I really didn’t want today to be the same.  Scramble, scramble, scratch, scratch in my head.   AHHH!  I noticed a man (probably a plain clothes policeman) leaning into a police cruiser talking with what I assume is one of the officers in the car … I think … he will know where to go.  I jabbed Mike in the shoulder and said roll the window down and ask him where to go to bring our donations (we had a few paltry offerings besides our clothing, but we had to bring something).  Mike, having learned that I have good ideas, acted on my suggestions and learned where we could take our offering.  Maybe there we would find a way to be of service.  Mike knew exactly where the organization was located and headed off to the Christian Mission Services.  I am so glad he is good with directions, because if it had been up to me we would have been lost for hours.

We arrived to a beehive of activity.  Trucks everywhere.  There was a lot of yelling and arm waving.  Still, we couldn’t figure out what to do.  So we pulled in and asked the first person we could find, who knew nothing, but very quickly a man who was probably in charge showed up.  He asked what we were there for.  We told him what we had and that were willing to do what ever he needed; what would he like us to do?  He smiled and told Mike to back up the pickup, and that is how we found ourselves loaded with the first load of water and sport drinks headed for one of the biggest disaster areas in the area, Pratt City.  There was NOT time to take pictures once we got there.  We were busy helping unload multiple trucks so that we could get back and acquire another load.  I doubt seriously that the National Guard would have allowed me to anyway.  They were pretty aggressively keeping people out of the worst areas.  I really did not feel like testing the limits with these guys, so I am going to share one of many you can find on the net.

(Click on this link to see aerial photos of the damage)

The outpouring of stuffs was breathtaking.  Enough to make a person cry.  I think most of us here were crying inside with these people who lost all they owned.  We all wanted to do what we could to assist these souls without … without most things most of us take for granted.  So many individuals came bearing what gifts they could manage that the authorities had to close down receiving at Pratt City and the Boutwell Auditorium for the day after our second load of food stuffs to the area.  On our second run, there were about 5 or 6 trucks and trailers of food and drinks.  I am sure the efforts have started anew today.  When we were on our way home, we passed by a school that was collecting goods to send, and there were so many people there that it looked like a carnival.  The giving will continue for sometime I am sure.  That is just how people are around here.  Even Donna “The Trainer Nazi” Jones has started collecting goods to share with the people affected by this horrible act of nature.  What can I say … ‘Bamian’s are Good people.

It felt good to be a part of helping … even if it was a small part.  We had to do something.  There are so many firefighters and policemen giving above and beyond the call of duty.  All the men and women giving day in and day out down there have my deepest gratitude and prayers for their health and safety.  My youngest daughter was down there doing what she could find to do and said that she was going to head back down again today.  Can I say that I am proud of her?  Cuz I am.

How did I handle the day as far as the diet goes?  Well, I never leave home without a cooler and my drink bottles.  🙂  Still, I did eat some out and not sure how well on the calories for these meals.  Doesn’t look like the scales are moving in the right direction again.  Boo Hiss.  I stuck to the plan as much as humanly possible in the situation.  So … we shall see.  Below is how I cover my rear for life.

yep ... you guessed it there are OptiFast Bricks in that bag cooler ... 4 to be exact. Never leave home without them!

I ended up drinking 4 of these 24 oz. babies. I was a Thirsty girl!

Well, after a LONG day of carting and unloading, we hopped on our bikes for a ride in our neighborhood.  The hilly place that kicks our butts!  I will tell you more about that later … for now …. I will say that is was a very pleasant end to a very satisfying, mixed emotional day.  It was wonderful to see all the giving and helping, but it was still so painful to see all the hurt and devastation.

Hug the ones you love and rejoice that today is a new day and uniquely yours … what will you do with today?  Make it a memory … Blessings …S


14 thoughts on “Yesterday …

  1. Oh Shonnie…you just brought tears to my eyes with this one. I remember when my litle Brother…James…lived in Florida and had just built his house. He had not even paid his first house note. Where he lived did not require flood insurance, yet a 20 foot tidal way from the Bay at the end of his street, hit his home. That was a horrible feeling. We tried so hard to get them the help they needed and it did not help very much. My heart goes out to Everyone who is going through that. I think about your Mom and Dad and what wonderful people they are and how they are having to suffer through this tragedy. And then I think about the rest of Our Family in Concordia Parish and what they are about to go through. My heart hurts for them soo much. I wish there was something I could do from here. If you have any ideas…please let me know. You seem to know how to get these thing going. Maybe we could start some collections here in Baton Rouge. We ourselves know what these things are like since we have experienced the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina and Gustav and all of the others. Please…..let me know what is the best way to get something like this started. Thanks for being such a Beautiful Soul and doing all that you do for others. Your babies learned how to be that kind of person because of the parents they have. I hope you don’t mind if I post this on my Facebook….If it is okay with you…please let me know. I would like to spread the word.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience and helping. My blog has info also and there is a very good chance we will be a go-to tohelp connect people/groups with relief help as the months go on.

  3. Oh wow Shonnie 😦 I really didn’t realise the extent of the devastation – I can now see that it will be a long time before things are truly calm again! Well done for donating all those lovely clothes – I am sure the recipients will be eternally grateful – I’m so proud of you – and that you’re keeping with the program through such a tough time! I am holding a good thought for everyone affected and sending love and prayers xxx

  4. Wow that is such an inspiration to others. I wish I had something to donate, but I feel like my clothes aren’t of much value well, I wouldn’t say value they’re just not up to part lol.

    I would have like to volunteer my time in serving food to all of the storm victims, but they way my family schedule is I don’t think it would be in any way possible for me to help. I wish I could think of other idea on ways to help.

    I thank you and appreciate what you and your husband as done to help our fellow brothers and sisters in need.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Nesh … thanks. I know you understand … it was something we HAD to do. I have been very down and broke before, but never after such a harrowing experience. My heart just broke for those people.

      You can pray Nesha — there have been times in my life that was the best that I had to offer. I know you would do what ever they needed. Prayer — I think that is a very good thing to give. These people have a LOT of adjusting to go through. Right now there is all the hype and shock. Later fears and terror set in. It is good to pray for their spirits to hold strong. I know you can do that. I know I am going to do it. I started the day the storm hit them.

      Blessings girl. see you soon at the UAB! 🙂

    • Yes, we do. I know you were doing what you could to help those in need. That is just how you are. 🙂 we were glad to finally find a way to help.

  5. Our state has a lot of work to do, doesn’t it? We all have to help, and I am so happy that you finally got through. Angela has been calling to see where she is needed and was told to wait; now and I can have her read this and see if she can head out today to help.

    • Donna, you are so right. There will be stuff to do for a LONG tiME. It was horrible. We found that you just have to go down there and find those who are working. If she wants to go let me know. Mike will be calling Greg who was heading up some stuff yesterday to see what if anything we can do.

  6. It took Mike a while. 😉 But he has learned you have some good ideas! It was wonderful to see the outpouring of support for these people who have lost so much.

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