Forgive my lateness in this post.
There are many posts from terrific bloggers containing excellent information on which companies are offering free replacements of curriculum and post-Harvey help, to which I’ve linked at the end of the post, so I won’t reinvent the wheel! Many people want to take action and help those affected by Harvey, and quite possibly Irma, but worry about donating to large national charities that don’t always send all the money to the recipients intended by the donors.
No matter what the reasons for this, it’s something that bothers me quite a lot – as a result, I do things a little differently.
There are many Facebook groups devoted to helping people whose homes and every thing in them were destroyed in Harvey. Homeschoolers, non-homeschoolers, you name it. There’s probably a group. Since homeschoolers are near and dear to our heart, that’s where we have focused our efforts. I am in several groups, and started connecting with families, offering whatever we can to help them either replace lost items or just get a small sense of normal in a chaotic world.
Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be setting up a few families (we can only afford a few) with free print/online subscriptions. We’ll set up others after that with online subscriptions, and as our budget allows, will do some shopping for a few. I like shopping, and I like it even more when I’m giving it to someone else. You see, I would rather the help goes directly to the families who need it, rather than have to be filtered through a large organization, which while well-meaning, isn’t as efficient as person to person.
Homeschooling amid chaos…
Regardless whether you’re new to homeschooling, or have been homeschooling for a while, situations like this wreak havoc, making even the simplest things difficult and chaotic. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to take a break from schedules, curriculum and other organized learning. It’s okay if you can’t do school, and as long as your family is still whole and healthy – you have everything that’s truly valuable.
The chaotic situation has its own learning – from learning about how to manage a crisis to seeing the beauty of humanity, and yes sometimes, the ugliness of humanity. Through crises we learn to reach out, and we learn that we’re not all that different. We learn to come together and help one another – all of these are lessons that have at least as much value as anything out of a book.
After the storms have passed…
Here’s the thing to remember: After immediate needs are looked after, there’s still the recovery. Many homes will be demolished completely to rebuild, and many others will need significant repairs to make them livable again. Another impact is that there will be many new homeschoolers – some temporary, and some will become permanent. Why? Because some schools will be closed until they make necessary repairs. These new homeschoolers will need our help, the help of other more experienced homeschoolers. This is where I, you, and we come in.
Irma looks like it’s going to do some damage too – possibly hitting Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Please, if you’re asked to evacuate – do it. The human cost of getting trapped and potentially killed is too high. My heart breaks every time I hear about another death related to the storms.
Reach out to those new homeschoolers and veteran homeschoolers who’ve lost everything. Find out what you can do to help them cope, ask what specific needs they have – that way you can better meet their needs and be of more service. Take the time to get to know them, ask questions, and be ready to do whatever it is that you are able – even if it’s just to have a shoulder to cry on.
If you would like to give a subscription to a family, choose the one you’d like to give (offer not valid on monthly memberships) and – enter the code HARVEY. When you check out, make sure the shipping address is the one at which they’ll be receiving mail. You’ll get a discount, we’ll know to shut off automatic renewals for it, be extra sure to verify mailing addresses…and they’ll get a little bit of normal in a sea of chaos.
The following list of resources is by no means complete, and I’ll add more as I find them.
- THE Homeschoolers Helping Homeschoolers
- Helping Homeschoolers Affected by Harvey
- Texas Home Educators Donations
- Need to Homeschool in a Hurry?
- Homeschooling After Harvey
- Homeschool Supply Drive
- Hurricane Harvey Information