How can I help?
First and foremost, we would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support from family, friends and even strangers. We're overwhelmed by your love. The question we keep getting over and over is How can I help? At first this was a difficult question to answer, but after some time to process, we've put together some information below for those who wish to help.
Our flood story actually predates Hurricane Harvey. Our family was first affected by the Tax Day Floods of April 2016. After those rains poured two feet of water into our house, we spent 9 months rebuilding. We were just starting to feel normal again when six months after we moved back home, Harvey dumped in an estimated 4 to 6 feet of water. Right now, our house is currently unsafe to access so we've been unable to survey the actual damage. We do know the water is much higher than our last flood. There will be very little we can salvage.
Not everything has been terrible, though. On August 25th, the same day Harvey made landfall, we welcomed our second child, Roger Mark Abshire into our life. We have a lot to be thankful for. We are lucky to have family to stay with and take care of us and our immediate needs.
Unlike so many who have flooded during Harvey, we have flood insurance, and we also have experience navigating this process. Several steps on the road to our recovery have already been easier given we're ahead on the learning curve. Since we have many advantages compared to others in Houston and the rest of the Gulf Coast, you may want to consider putting your resources in a place for families who are even needier than us. Consider charities such as the J.J. Watt Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund, Save the Children's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, or The Salvation Army Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort.
However, we understand that our loved ones specifically love us and want to help so we've put together some ways to help below. We can't even begin to express our gratitude for the help already offered and received, and thank you in advance for all the love and support coming.
Ways to Help
Even without the stress of flooding out your home, many new parents could use the help of friends. Many have expressed interest in bringing our family a meal. If helping in this way interests you, please sign up for a date on the Meal Train link below.
Things We Need
It looks like we've pretty much lost everything so we will pretty much need everything.
Gift cards are helpful because they quickly resolve needs as they come up in real time. Some helpful retailers would include IKEA, Target, HEB, Walmart or Amazon.
We have found a new place to live, but we have no furniture to put in it. If you have excess furniture that you were thinking of getting rid of, we may need it. To avoid duplicate donations, please email first to determine if your piece of furniture might be a need. So far, we already have found beds and cribs for every family member.
As already stated, IKEA gift cards would really help with furniture and home good needs.
Baby and Toddler Items
Fortunately, as we were in the hospital planning on a possible evacuation, many of the larger baby items were in the family car with us. We have already received cribs and mattresses for both children, a car seat/base/stroller, a pack and play, a rock and play, a swing, a bouncer, and lots of clothes. Many other items we will still need such as diapers, wipes, blankets, burp cloths, towels, play mats, baby and toddler toys. We also lost a heartbreaking number of children's books. Again, in order to avoid duplicate donations, please check by email to determine need.
We have started an Amazon list. Partly it will help us remember what we need to replace, but it is also there in case friends and family would like to provide a tangible thing that needs replacing. If you have something you think we might need, please feel free to email.
If you've made it all the way to the bottom of this page. A thousand thanks for your interest in our circumstances. If there is one positive Harvey has highlighted, it is the strength and love of community.