Surviving Survivor’s Guilt with Action

credit “Island of Tears” slideshow on NBC’s photoblog. Click the photo to see more examples of the destruction.

Like a lot of people who were lightly affected by Hurricane Sandy (or Irene or Katrina or  Ike or…), I felt – and still feel – an incredible amount of Survivor’s Guilt when I enjoy snuggling on my own couch with my kids or yell at my family to get to the dinner table NOW or type a blog post in my own house on my own computer. I think this experience of the last two weeks, for a lot of people who lost power and emptied fridges and ended up entertaining children for almost two unexpected weeks of vacation, opened our eyes. Yes, we grumbled and groaned and raised our virtual voices and clenched fists against the power companies.

And then we’d remember that there are families on cots in shelters with no privacy. And there are families who have lost photos and christening outfits and first place ribbons and a grandmother’s last letter. And lives.

And then I do what I’m doing right now and I tear up and wish I could do more to directly help someone feel a little bit better despite the incredible loss.

There are a lot of people who have organized amazing benefits. I’ve told you about Tia’s Food of Love, and it seems like every business and community group is collecting for those affected. Some people with personal connections to the hardest hit places wrote about it, too. It’s been encouraging to hear about it all. And while I love all of that, I want to assuage MY guilt in a more direct way as well. (It’s always about me, folks, don’t you know that yet?)  Lucky for my self-centered self, I heard about an adopt-a-family program on Staten Island. It’s organized by Corine from Complicated Mama and Melissa from Staten Island Family.

The Adopt a Hurricane Sandy Family program is one-on-one. You send what you can – what you’re comfortable sending – to a family. They will ask for certain items they need/want, and you ship them. It can be as basic as gift cards to buy underwear or a new set of pajamas or whatever. Or it could be a very specific item that is hard to get for a family in crisis right now.  I’m not explaining it well. You can also ENROLL a family – Check out the details on this form. And please consider applying! It’ll make you feel good. I promise.

Apply to Adopt a Hurricane Sandy Family here.


About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.
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11 Responses to Surviving Survivor’s Guilt with Action

  1. Talk about a kick in the pants, right? I know. I’m here fine, healthy and relatively a-ok- while there are people out there suffering without the things I have had in the first place.

    • We all have our bubbles and realities. I learned, from a wise friend, that there will always be someone suffering more than I am. It doesn’t make the difficulties we deal with less difficult, we should respect our own feelings as well. But I think it does help us to feel grateful for what we have. And that’s always a good thing to remember. Hugs to you so far away!

  2. Thank you for this! I will pass it along. So great.

    • Thanks Justin. There are so many ways that people can help, if they want to. And unfortunately, there is so much need as well as plenty. The hope is that, by sharing the ones that we like or have faith in, once in a while they will connect with other people. No one can give all the time, or even most of the time, but we can all give some of the time.

  3. Becky says:

    I know of a high school group that is looking for a way to help. Thanks for the information.

  4. I really understand this feeling. Our new house was almost completely unscathed in the storm, where so many people in our neighborhood had some awful damage, and only got their power back early this week. And I find myself irritated about random new house construction mix-ups and trees down on my running route. And then I feel terribly guilty, because these are nothing. Literally nothing, compared to the hell that friends and family of mine on Long Island are going through. Thanks for sharing this. I will certainly pass it along.

  5. Azara says:

    That’s a great idea. It reminds me of the Christmas angel tree programs. Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Pingback: “Stop Sending Us Things.” ~ A grateful but overwhelmed Newtown Board of Education member | This Weblog is Unique. Just Like They All Are.

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