HURRICANE HARVEY DISASTER RELIEF – Urgent Cash Distributions to those who have Lost Everything
HURRICANE HARVEY’S WIND & FLOODING
Helplessly watching Hurricane Harvey hit Houston on the news only partly prepared us in Texas for what we were about to experience next. As Hurricane Harvey gained momentum and pointed towards the Central Texas Coast, those with friends, family, and money headed for higher ground further away from the immediate coastal area which suffers the greatest savages of the torrential winds and storm surges. Others unfortunate to have a friend or family nearby to stay with in another city, or those without a car to drive to safety 100-200km away must experience whatever Mother Nature delivers and must accept its’ outcome time and time again. Those are the people the Inti Raymi Fund chooses to support and lend a hand to. Flood insurance or renters insurance is too expense for the lowest income American citizens so they lost everything in the floods which followed Harvey. These flood victims resorted to walking, swimming or wading to storm shelters set up by relief agencies such as the American Red Cross, FEMA or local religious institutions all across the region.
Global news coverage showed the devastation in and around the Houston Texas area, so my wife and I decided to take action to support those already vetting by the American Red Cross. By vetting, we mean, through adverse selection almost all of those who end up in these Red Cross shelters, or war refugee camps for that matter, are those much less fortunate with no other options but to be subjugation to whatever is provided to them as vulnerable victims.
WHAT THE INTI RAYMI FUND DID
Upon arrival we explained our organization of the Inti Raymi Fund and how we choose to operate by providing Dignity & Respect with each projects. We allow the Communities to choose their way they would like to receive our funding. In the case of Hurricane Harvey it yielded all of these people into a storm shelter desperately needed food, water, shelter, sleep, counseling from trauma and much, much more. We found the facilities opened up by the Red Cross to be an exceptionally well planned, inventoried and managed facility. They appear to have thought of everything. The victims received exceptional care including food, water, blankets & cots, toys, children play stations, locally provided volunteer entertainment, counseling for trauma, medical, dental and visual aid exams and treatment along with “next step” counseling for jobs and possible relocation after the shelter closes. After an extensive tour of their huge warehouses and facilities of the shelter, we realized that all of victims’ “Urgent & Important” needs were being met by the United States’ Red Cross Organization, so we focused our attention on the “Important” issue of these struggling peoples’ next step in life since they have just lost everything they own and their homes to the floods. We used our usual mantra of “What do you need?” and “How can we Help?”, knowing these people escaped with barely the clothes on their backs. The shelter informed us and the local news showed as well that the Austin Area Shelter was overflowing with used clothing donations, toys, food etc; however, most of these victims had no money in their pocket to allow them the dignity and respect to decide for themselves what their own next steps would be when tomorrow came. Most residents in the shelter were wearing donated clothing evidenced by the stains or strange sizes or zany images on the t-shirts of a grandmother, so we knew the residents could use some additional help.
With the understanding and help of the director of the shelter, we announced on the overhead radio our plans to distribute some spending cash to those in need at an adjacent tent which was previously set up for auxiliary services for the victims. My wife and I proceeded to set up our Inti Raymi Fund table with several chairs to greet those who may show up. The response was overwhelming with 100% of the shelter victims, all 210 each waiting roughly 30 minutes in line for their share of the $25,000USD we brought them. As you may see in the images shown on this page, the line went out the door, around the corner and beyond. This turnout amazed us and reconfirmed out belief in the helpfulness of “good old fashioned cash”, which allows people the Dignity & Respect to solve some of their most pressing and personal issues each of us face. Please make no mistake, they needed all the wonder amenities and services which Red Cross and our generous nations’ people donated to the shelters, but they also desperately needed some cash to get their feet back on the ground again for tomorrow.
The real life experience my wife and I personally went through greeting each recipient and respectfully listening to each of their stories and respectfully sharing what we could in cash was a heartbreaking but equally emotionally fulfilling experience we wish others could experience.
We encourage others to take the first step and get involved to help volunteer, donate items or even take that “leap of faith” and share cash with those less fortunate when the opportunity arises in your future.
Out of the Respect and courtesy of the victims and abiding with the rules of the Red Cross, we purposefully were as evasive as possible, trying to avoid showing personal faces in our images, but yet still trying to capture the essence of the experience to share with our viewers were are trying to inspire.
Start Date: September 8, 2017
Completion Date: September 8, 2017
Funded so far: $25,000 USD
Total Project: $25,000 USD
Lives Affected: 210
Beth, Janice Lynn & Chimu