Punny titles are my favorite, but let's drop the jokes now, because this is serious.
*Disclosure : this is a long one; If anything, skip to the bottom where I mention resources where you can help Texas!*
What's happening in Texas, Houston especially, is devastating.
There is no other description for it; Except - horrible, awful, disgusting, sad, and lastly, beautiful. One of my friends reached out to me yesterday in hopes that I would help her get some things together to send to Houston and at first I was iffy.
I am the worst kind of person sometimes, in the sense that I ignore what's going on mainstream. I have a huge belief that social media has shaped our communities, our country, our world, into just a giant mess. I understand what's going on in Houston has nothing to do with social media. Where I'm going with this all is, I don't watch the news. Point blank period, ever. Not because I don't believe what they are broadcasting is untrue, (although you can never be too sure) but because I don't want to spend my life curled up in the fetal position, depressed, because the world is terrifying and disturbing. I understand this is unrealistic, and probably not my greatest trait. I understand I should be aware of my surroundings, and what's going on in the world.
If you live, or have ever lived, an anxious lifestyle I'm sure you understand where I'm coming from. My mental capacity just cannot take on the load of the world, and I'm sorry for that.
Back to Houston - how does this all relate? I was iffy to give my friend things. Isn't that terrible? There's a state of emergency in another part of our country and I found myself ESPECIALLY avoiding the news and internet because of it. I found myself ignoring what was going on.
How awful am I?
But then something sparked in me, and slapped me around a little bit. What is wrong with me ???!!!!!!! Why am I just laying in bed, in the comfort of my own un-flooded home, while my baby is an hour into her peaceful nap? I was almost annoyed when Kaitlin texted me asking for stuff, like wow what is my issue!? So I changed my entire thought process from that second on. I jumped up, grabbed my phone, and got to couponing.
I thought to myself, even if I only spend $20 and clean out my pantry, that could be the difference in somebody's day in Texas right now. So I did just that. I texted my friend, Capri, and asked her if she wanted to tag along with me and the babe for an action packed couponing adventure! (You have to make the boring things sound fun when you're a mom)
I have to give credit, where credit is due, to The Krazy Coupon Lady. Her app was a huge help to quickly, and efficiently, get the most for my money. I am frugal as heck, and I don't spend a penny without checking this app first. She is not paying me to say this, and I'm not apart of any affiliate programs for her - I just feel this passionately about her app.
So I pulled out my app, and searched for the best deals at Walgreens, Publix, and Target. I was on the hunt specifically for things I did not have to print, and did not have to have newspaper clippings for. Which means I only used the Walgreens app, the Publix digital coupons app, and the Cartwheel by Target app. (Of course I also used my shopkick, and ibotta apps, to maximize savings - you can read more about those here) But the point is that, this was an easy task for people who are not familiar with couponing at all, and anybody can get out and do this, too.
Between Capri, and I, we spent a total of $30 and this is what we got.
(3) boxes of Chewy granola bars
(1) box of Puffs tissues
(2) Boxes of Annie's fruit wands
(2) boxes of Honey Graham Oh's cereal
(1) Oxiclean laundry detergent
(2) Palmolive dish soaps
(1) can of Sparkling lemonade (I know, random - but it was free, so why not)
(11) Candy bars (there were 12 but we shared one for fuel, oops)
1() 6 pack of Cottonelle MegaRolls
(1) 16 roll pack Charmim Essentials bath tissue
Our original total for all of those things was about $67 after tax.
We spent a total of about $30 after tax out of pocket. And I didn't print one coupon. Or clip anything from a newspaper. I just clicked a couple of buttons on some apps. That's it.
The total haul (so far) after cleaning out the nursery, and our pantry, looks something like this :
.... and growing! I keep adding things throughout the day, and I'm sure I'll do another coupon haul before the truck leaves on Friday.
The moral of story here people, is DO SOMETHING!!
DO NOT BE LIKE ME, AND IGNORE WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND YOU - EVEN IF IT IS NOT LOCAL TO YOU.
Here are some places that you can help if you don't even want to leave your bed.
- GlobalGiving Foundation - Goal to raise $2 Million, money will go to food, water, shelter, & long-term recovery.
- GoFundMe - I know you all are familiar with this one, but this particular landing page goes to multiple different campaigns related to and involved with Hurricane Harvey relief.
- The Salvation Army - This one is important to me, as the significant other of a first responder. They are working on providing water and food to all of the first responders.
- Austin Pets Alive! - My personal fav! One of my best friends works here (Hi, Em!), so I know it's an amazing shelter & company, and she's super passionate about it, so that makes me that much more passionate about it as well. They are in need of donations and supplies, as they have taken on hundreds of animals.
- If you are local to the Treasure Coast of Florida, private message me, or email me, and I will be happy to help you arrange a pick up, or drop off scenario.
- Nothing like sending a ton of love, positive vibes, prayers, whatever it is you believe in to our friends and families in Texas! This is free! There's no reason you shouldn't already be doing this!
These are just a FEW of the ways you can help. There are a million more resources and here is another link to NPR listing a TON of other disaster relief resources as well.
If you remember, (I know, there was a lot in this post) at the beginning of this post my last description of what's going on in Texas was 'beautiful'. I think watching our community come together, despite race, religion, ethnicity, financial status, etc. is beautiful. I think watching people all over the world contribute to this cause in any way they can, is amazing. In a time where social media makes it seem like we are all on opposite teams, fighting against each other - choose to see this beauty instead. Choose to see the good in the world, and choose to ignore the hate. In times of trouble, our country unites. Right now, nobody cares what the color of your skin is, or who you voted for. We care about getting our people to safety, and higher ground, and pulling through this. We are the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave, and we as a country, have to be the change that we wish to see in the world.
I'd like to end this post quoting one of my dear friends, Dana.
"Do not forget how EASILY this could be us. We are undoubtedly blessed, and every little bit helps."
Mother Nature could have chosen any of our homes. Count your blessing.
Until next time, friends.