Good Morning Everybody!
I wanna send my love out to all of our listeners in Houston and Beaumont and Bridge City and Orange and Port Arthur and so many towns and cities hit with a catastrophic amount of rain over these past few days.
We see you.
Last year the city of Seattle had a record amount of rain – with nearly 45 inches of rain for all of 2016. In just 48 hours it rained more than 50 inches in Houston. Parts of I-10 look like a rushing river – or the ocean – with full on waves. When I first saw the before and after pictures of I-10 I thought they were photoshopped, but sure enough, they were real.
I saw were at least 300,000 people have lost their cars. Estimates are now that at least 50,000 people have lost their homes and that number may go much higher. And experts are saying that over 80% of the people affected do not have any flood insurance whatsoever.
While it’s going to be days or even weeks, before we have our minds fully wrapped around just how much damage was done by this storm, I do see something beautiful happening that I wanna talk about for a few minutes.
We’ve all learned a painful lesson. After so many natural disasters, from 9/11, to the earthquake in Haiti, to Katrina, to Sandy – millions and millions of Americans gave what ended up amounting to billions of dollars to the Red Cross – only to find out months or years later that the money was blown or wasted on foolishness and that just a tiny percentage of it actually trickled down to the people. A report discovered that the Red Cross, which raised over $500 million for earthquake victims in Haiti built just 6 houses there. Yeah – six – as in one more than five and one less than seven.
To call that inefficient is an understatement. It’s a scandal. It should be illegal. And what I see is donors across the country are taking matters into our own hands. Here on the Tom Joyner Morning Show we’ve started our own fund on Black America Web. Some good friends of mine there in Texas started an Amazon Wishlist and thousands of people have purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of essential supplies, from socks and underwear to medicine, to feminine products, to generators and battery packs. Those items will start arriving today.
NFL Star JJ Watt has raised nearly $10 million. Comedian Kevin Hart raised over a $1 million. Many other stars and influencers have done the same and it’s a huge reflection of just how skeptical all of us are of huge charities that talk an amazing game but do sub-par work.
If you haven’t given yet, please consider logging on to the website NoRedCross.org.
There on the site you’ll not only see how to give to the BlackAmericaWeb fund, but you’ll learn how you can give to over a dozen different verified organizations that are already right there on the ground in Texas and are doing amazing work.
You’ll see the Texas Organizing Project – I respect their work a great deal.
You’ll see a charity that is doing amazing work supporting and protecting immigrants. Many of whom are not just worried this morning about losing their homes, they are now deeply worried about deported as well.
You’ll see several homeless shelters and transitional housing centers that you can support. These places are actually skilled and experienced at helping people move from homelessness back into something long term and they will play an essential role in the weeks and months ahead.
You’ll see several food-banks that you can donate to directly. Again, these are food banks that know how to receive and distribute huge volumes of food to the people who need it the most.
You’ll see multiple charities for people with disabilities.
You’ll even see charities to provide support for lost pets and families who just can’t support their pets right now.
The point is this – if you wanna make a difference – you don’t have to give to a mega-charity and then wonder if it’s going to actually do what they say it’s going to do. You can give to a proven grassroots organization that gets good work done.
I’ll leave you on this note – do something. Don’t allow this moment to come and go without chipping in somehow. Pay it forward. Inconvenience yourself. Real people need our help. They need it today and they are going to need it again next week and next month for all of the broken pieces of their lives to be put back together again.
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