A Category 5 hurricane was knocking on our door, so we had to get out as fast as we could. Although our escape from looming Irma was quite stressful, it does not come close to what those less fortunate than us endured. Now we must do what we can to help those who were stuck in Irma’s path.
The Wednesday evening before Irma was expected to strike, we packed up the kids, food, water, and a couple suitcases and hopped on I-95 to head north. The drive through Florida was very tense. When we finally pulled into our hotel in Savannah, Ga., at 3:45 a.m., we all breathed a huge sigh of relief. We continued on to New Jersey to see family for over a week.
We are lucky because we had the ability to get out when we did and had a safe place to stay. Fortunately, our house and neighborhood in Florida are fine. However, many people in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean will be suffering for weeks, months, maybe years to come.
Happy Science Mom is about raising our children to be happy and balanced. Part of that journey involves helping others in need and recognizing what we can do to make the world a better place.
Here are 5 ways that you can take action now as a family to help others during this unimaginable disaster recovery period:
Donate A Financial Gift
Earlier this week, tons of performers came out to do a country-wide fundraiser for hurricane victims. Please consider sending a donation to Hand In Hand, which will distribute the money to several charities on the ground like United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and Save the Children. Spreading kindness is a win-win for everyone involved, and something so very special to share with our kids. For additional charities, please see this list from NPR about ways to help victims of Harvey and this article from the NY Times about how to help Irma victims.
Volunteer In Person As A Family
Children are born with compassion, but it is up to us to nurture this instinct as they grow. If you live nearby, sign up to volunteer as a family to hand out food, water, and other supplies to those in need. Or take a huge leap and travel with your kids to the places hit hard to help out on the ground. You can register to volunteer at Volunteer Florida.
Educate Your Children About The Power Of Nature
These hurricanes broke records. Climate change is clearly stirring up stronger, more frequent storms because of warmer temperatures due to carbon emissions. If we are going to be able to prepare and address these weather and climate changes, then we need more talented scientists and community leaders who understand the value of science. Our children are our future, and it is up to us to give them resources to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We can start by introducing them to wonderful tools like STEM books, magazines, and experiment kits.
Teach Your Kids To Appreciate And Respect Nature
By spending time outdoors enjoying the beauty and awe that our natural environment provides, our children will feel better emotionally and understand the importance of protecting the natural world. Go on a hike, organize a family camping trip, garden, and look for creative ways to play outside.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The climate is on a warming trend, and much of these changes are a result of human activity. Our daily actions–from the food we eat to the clothes we wear to the transportation we take–are harming our environment. Check out these past posts for tips on going green to reduce your carbon footprint:
- How To Make The Easy Switch To Clean Energy For Your Home
- Why Paperless Birthday Invitations Are Better For You And The Planet
- Why Eco-Friendly Clothing Is Better For Your Kids And The World
- How To Teach Your Kids That Going Green Saves Money
- How To Design A Gorgeous Eco-Friendly Bedroom For Your Children
What will you do to help those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Want to learn more ways to help out in the community with your kids? Check out some of our other posts about giving and kindness and be sure to share these ideas with your friends: