Saturday, September 10, 2011

Texas Wildfire Relief Post

Howdy, friends. Some of you know that I am from Texas. I don't know how much it shows, but I love my state. Southern hospitality, Blue Bell Ice Cream, football, two-steppin' and Tex Mex. But, what I love the most is how when bad things happen to us, we dig in our heals and help each other rebuild.

After Hurricane Ike, neighbors rebuilt together, people shared their generators, their food, their grills. We rolled up our sleeves and made sure that we all got into the business of getting back to normal. We're putting that to the test at the moment because Texas is currently fighting and recovering from the busiest fire season in our history.

The worst you have probably heard about: a fire that started on September 4th near Lost Pines and Bastrop burned over 34000 acres of land with 2 lives and 1386 homes lost. It is still only 30% contained. Folks are without food, water, their most prized possessions. Some are still in shelters after evacuating with a few minutes notice and they have no idea if their pets, their homes, their lives are OK.

View from Highway 21 in Texas 5 days ago. Source:

And that isn't only the one big fire; countless smaller ones have wrought their destruction on communities, one about 45 minutes from where I currently live. We were never in danger but our community has felt the shock, and the uncertainty especially considering that we're still fighting it. According to the Texas Forest Service we've lost about 21,000 acres from that fire and it is also only 30% contained {down from 85%}. Its close to the Texas Renaissance Festival which has not been affected but is serving as a base for firefighters and emergency personnel.

House destroyed in Magnolia fire. Source: Star-Telegram

Speaking of firefighter and emergency personnel, we have seen first-hand the commitment that our firefighters have to the people of Texas, and the generosity coming from all areas of the country. They have been there from the beginning, fighting to save people's homes, and mourning with them when they couldn't. We owe them a lot for what they do.

Here's what's needed now: Money, water, clothes, food, gatorade, everything.

And here's how you can help.

Monday I will be hosting a benefit giveaway featuring Gussy Sews, Dianapantz, the Blue Eyed Owl, and myself {value = $100!}. In order to enter you will have to a) donate money to a cause benefiting the wildfire relief effort and b) spread the word.  The more money you donate, the more of a chance you have of winning {and if your entry is chosen, you will have to PROVE your donation}, AND the more money that will be helping! Both myself and Diana will be matching the donations pledged in the giveaway.

And so, I am calling on you to help me spread the word! Twitter {use hashtag}, Facebook, blogging, anything!

Organizations that are helping:
The American Red Cross {specify Texas Wildfires in your donation}, especially the Red Cross of Central Texas and the Greater Houston Area Red Cross.
Texas Wildfire Relief
United Way of Montgomery County
Bloggers Without Borders

If you live in Texas you can also take donations to any 4-H office or coordinate with your local fire-station. Many local chambers of commerce, YMCAs, banks, and grocery stores are joining the effort.

And of course, if you would like to contribute to the giveaway or match donations, there is always room! Please contact me at lreichstein {at} gmail {dot} com.

I'll see you Monday! Spread the word {note: I am @AdvntrsNFlpFlps}.

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