When real life and blogland collide…

Posted on April 20, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

My first comment on a bridal blog was about the Red Cross so I’m compelled to highlight a special blog post by a fellow blogger (and Tennesseean).  For those who don’t follow, her neighborhood was hit by a tornado about a week ago….

HOW TO HELP

You can help people affected by this disaster, by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of all disasters. You can visit http://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or mail your donation, to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

You can also donate to help the victims of the Murfreesboro tornadoes at any Middle Tennessee Kroger store at the register as you check out. Just tell the cashier you would like to make a donation to the Red Cross for the Central Tennessee tornadoes.

The Red Cross is NOT accepting any donations of clothing, furniture or any other material items.

If you would like to volunteer, the CITY OF MURFREESBORO is asking you to call (615) 890-1934.

I was a Red Cross volunteer when my city hosted evacuees from the New Orleans area last year, and it was one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences of my life… and also super duper fun.  Really.  As volunteers, our “job” was to go around and talk to people.  Really!  Rather than avoid the topics at hand (evacuating, hurricanes, fear), we were allowed (nudged, even) to ask people how they were doing, talk to them about their fears and concerns, and share stories.

While the Red Cross won’t accept individual donations (they strive for fairness), supporting organizations will.  Our residents were housed in a church that provided bags of clothing for each family.  The most requested item that we didn’t have?  A bag to keep clothes in.  When you’re living in a shelter, it’s important to be able to keep your stuff together and easily mobile.

That struck me as the perfect suggestion to make here in the wedding-planning world.  How many of us have sourced inexpensive but sturdy OOT bags?  If you have any left over, donate to a church or other local organization that supports evacuees.  Perhaps make the same suggestion to your guests, offering a place for them to anonymously drop any bags that they know they won’t use again (and then ask a friend to drop them off for you after your wedding).

Of course, in lieu of favors, you can always make a donation to the Red Cross, or an organization of your guest’s choosing (Mrs. Lovebug’s charity tokens are my favorite way to do this).

Really, though, if you’ve ever briefly considered volunteering with the Red Cross but been just a little chicken (I was, and had to be given a literal push out of the car when the mister dropped me off for my shift), do it.  Do. It.  You’ll feel so freaking good afterward, and when people comment on what a selfless thing you’ve done, you’ll feel like that’s the craziest thing you’ve ever heard, because you got so much out of the experience.

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    About

    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.

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