I have to say as a Queenslander how very proud I feel of Anna Blight, Kevin Rudd and Lord Mayor Campbell Newman. Whilst we would expect nothing less of our fearless leaders, I think they have come to the party in so many ways and they are touched many people and have handled this awful disaster in the best way they possibly could.
However, they are not the only ones. Today my husband volunteered and unfortunately was turned away, simply because of the vast number of volunteers already there. He will of course try again next weekend, as it will take months to clean up this great city, however it really warms ones heart that our community is so committed to helping those less fortunate that they have to be turned away.
One other person that I think as touched so many people is the comedian Meshel Laurie. I follow Meshel's tweets and she has been going hell for leather on the old Twitter with requests for all sorts of help, no matter how small or big. Well done Meshel, you are an inspiration and a truly special person.
Whilst our husbands were off (trying) to volunteer, my friend who is also very pregnant, and I sat together lamenting about how useless we feel. However from a physical sense there is little two very pregnant women with small children can do. So rather then moan about it we have been trying to come up with ways to aid. The first thing we have decided to do is turn our baby shower into a fund raiser. Not being effected by the flood, we still have all our old baby things and don't have to rebuild our lives, so anything we need, we can purchase. We have asked all our friends to go through their baby goods that are no longer used and bring them along to the baby shower to donate, and rather then give us a gift, put the money they would have spent towards the flood appeal. Just between the two of us already we have two huge bags of baby clothing, a stroller and a pram, and I have no doubt there is much more to come. As most of the charity stores in our area can no longer accept goods due to space issues, these goods will be put on truck and taken to one of the inland towns that was so devastated by the flash flooding they experienced.
A few other ideas we came up with for those of us who are physically not able to help:
- Offer to babysit for any friends or family so they can volunteer.
- Cook some meals for those volunteers or families that have been effected (and have their power back on of course).
- Tell everyone you can that your partner, mum, dad, brother, sister, etc are volunteering. Nothing like a little competitiveness to get people out there helping.
- Offer to look after pets for friends or family that have been effected.
- If you are planning an event of some kind, incorporate it with a fundraiser for the victims. It is amazing how much you can raise just between family and friends.
Last but not least is giving those effected emotional support. Whilst we can all see the devastation and feel the loss, it probably won't hit many people until the physical work stops and they have time to take in what is lost. Depression is an awful condition, and anyone that suffers it needs all the support they can get. Just being available to those you know going through this terribly time is sometimes enough to help them through it.
Jen & Row