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Giving Back to Texas

Watching the devastation from Hurricane Harvey has been overwhelming. I cannot imagine what the people actually experiencing it are going through. It is estimated that 150,000 properties in Texas have been affected, that 30,000 people have had to leave their homes in the Houston area and 40,000 properties in that area have been destroyed. How do you even begin to address this scale of disaster? I do not know how to address it in its entirety, but I want to do as much as I can to help and I know you do too

Our “Giving Back Boutique” is our way of trying to do our part to help. All of the net proceeds from will go to disaster relief for hurricane Harvey. We started at midnight going into Saturday and are finishing up tonight at midnight Eastern time. I just wanted to let you know where your generosity is going to go. 
I’ve been doing some research to figure out where the money will do the most good and help the most people. In looking at the numbers it seems obvious that the immediate need of providing food and shelter to thousands of people who are out of their homes is paramount. Half of The funds that we raise will go to food banks in Houston and surrounding towns that have been hit hard. In reading the recommendations for where donations will do the most good, the local food banks seem to be the recommendation of choice as they are local organizations with boots on the ground, so to speak, where the money goes directly to the people who need it. I cannot imagine a greater feeling of helplessness and having lost my home, having nowhere to go and worrying about how I was going to feed my family. It makes me happy to know that we can help people who have lost everything, at least have a hot meal, a full belly and alleviate them of some of the worry for their families right now. 
The other half of the funds raised will go to an organization called SBP, which stands for Saint Bernard Parish. This is a group that was founded by people who volunteered after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. They were frustrated by the inefficiency of aid and have founded this organization to learn from the past and find new and better ways to address a disaster recovery. Their slogan is, “We shrink the time between disaster and recovery.” They have a 5 prong approach of rebuild, share, repair, advise and advocate. If you would like to learn more about them, here is their website. They are rated consistently high by Charity Navigator, a nonprofit which has evaluated over 8,000 charities. They are also cited in numerous articles for their approach in a disaster, like the Business Insider, and  The NY Times. This donation will help more long term.
If there were ever the opportunity to prove that we are a country that stands together and helps each other, this is the time. The people in the path of this natural disaster are our friends, families and neighbors. They are going to need help for a long time and I know we will all give in numerous ways, but I am proud of what we are accomplishing with this boutique. We are a community, a tribe, whatever you want to call us, but we are here for each other, want to help each other and are proving it with the support we will be able to send the people of Texas.