As often as I talk about California, I know that it may come as a surprise to learn that I actually grew up on the East Coast. I was born in Washington, D.C. I spent my childhood learning to swim in the Atlantic Ocean at Rehoboth Beach and Cape Cod (the benefit of having Emily Gilmore as your mother and a father who is from Wareham, Massachusetts). Of course, I then chose to spend 20 years living in California and lived through the Loma Prieta Earthquake, but, you know, I like to remind people, occasionally, that I am from the East Coast. With a West Coast mentality.
In the aftermath of Sandy, a storm that left a very serious situation for literally millions of people across many of the states that I have personally called home, as well as Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica, it is time for us collectively, to look for real solutions and put our allegiance to political parties aside.
No one political party is going to turn the lights back on or provide the very necessary and real support that everyone affected by this storm now needs. What everyone needs right now is absolute cooperation and transparency from the top down, from all facets of government and social services and rescue organizations and agencies who can assist and help in this tragedy.
Those of us who are far away, beyond the edges of the storm, can of course help best by donating to The Red Cross. As an international agency that is always a first-responder to provide real assistance and shelter for those who need it most, our support in both donations and blood (if you can give it) is always needed.
Social media, of course, has allowed us all to have a front seat, but it has also brought us more closely together, as a united community, in ways that we have never been before. We're confused about back-up generators not working for hospitals and watch aghast as a power plant explodes and throws an entire city into darkness. This isn't a doomsday film we're watching, it is the very real experience of people we know and love broadcast 24/7 in real-time. The coast of New Jersey that washed away does not feel so very distant. The cold that is enveloping those who are still without power is something we are all feeling. We want to help deliver food and water and to charge cellphones or the batteries that will keep a ventilator going.
This is the social good that we have found with our technology. It works because despite everything people are really good at heart. It works because we come together, we work hard, and we know that we can find the real solutions together to our very real problems.
As an addendum I'm adding a link to my friend, Kizzbeth's blog post as it is local and GOOD:
One more very important addendum. I know, I know. But this is about dogs. We all know I'm a dog mama first before I am really anything else (including a naked girl) and Buddha and Stella would not forgive me if I did not include this bit about Rescue Ink and the amazing animal lovers who risked their own lives for the lives of the four legged souls who love all of us so very unconditionally.
From their Facebook page:
These guys don't stop. In the middle of everything, a family came by the shelter who had lost their home. Rescue Ink agreed to take him in. His name is Storm and he will go into a foster situation like everyone else. He is available for adoption.
Help us keep the shelter alive.
That link goes to their Indiegogo Fundraiser where every one of us can help them to help the furry animals. They lost it all, but continue to care for the animals who need them most. Every little bit will help, of course.
In whatever ways you wish to help our brothers and sisters and animals who are now living in the aftermath of Sandy, please do. We all know that love and generosity and compassion and cooperation are the very things that make us, America, truly America.
* In a moment of what can only be universal synchronicity, the power at my own house here in Salt Lake City was lost just as I was about to publish this blog post. I had saved it, but had to wait a while for power to be restored in our neighborhood before I could actually publish it. A while was less than three hours. I know. That's nothing. I'm sending love and warmth and the hope that power is restored to everyone I love dearly very, very soon.