“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” — Fred Rogers
Those of us who live in and work in and around Downtown Peabody know what floods look like. Being partially below sea level (and with an average elevation of 17 feet) will do that.
But that flooding is nothing compared to what our friends in Texas are enduring right now as a result of Hurricane Harvey, and it’s not getting better. So for those of you who listen to Mr. Rogers (quoted above), and would like to know how to be an effective Helper, we have some resources for you.
First of all, because we are a Library that cares about Libraries, the Texas Library Association and Texas State Library and Archives Commission are working together to coordinate a response to damage caused to libraries and archives across the Houston and gulf coast region. They have issued a joint statement saying, essentially, that it’s too early yet to know what libraries and archives affected by Hurricane Harvey, but that TLA has its Disaster Relief Fund available and TSLAC is considering how it can make resources available as well. As damage is assessed, they will provide more information on the availability of these resources.
At this point, people are asked not to send material donations, such as books. Right now, there is no way to know what is needed, and no where at all to store donations. Anyone wishing to help financially are encouraged to donate online to the TLA Disaster Relief Fund.
For those looking for other ways to help, please check out this enormously useful article from Texas Monthly that lists all the charities, organizations, and institutions working on the ground in affected areas to help people and animals. You can access this article here.
If you work or live in the Boston Area, Mayor Marty Walsh has announced a drive called “Help for Houston”. The collection effort starts today, Tuesday, August 29, and lasts through Thursday, August 31. The Mayor is asking residents to contribute items to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. They are collection food, infant formula, blankets, and a number of other items at collection centers in and around the City. Check out the City’s website for full details and collection sites.
If you are not in a position to donate at this moment, please know that help will be needed in Texas for a long time to come, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on ways you can help in the coming days and weeks.