Early last week Sarasota Orthopedic Associates teamed up with The Mall at University Town Center and Doctors Hospital of Sarasota to organize a blood drive for the victims of hurricane Harvey. The storm slammed hard into Houston leaving a path of devastation. Blood banks in Houston were unable to provide donation supplies for their hospitals so we stepped up to assist with the collaboration of SunCoast Blood Bank. In total, our donation efforts were able to save 108 lives. Teamwork. Generosity. Caring for one another. It felt good to help.
This past weekend, it was our turn to ASK for help. Hurricane Irma took her time heading for Florida and we were on edge for several days awaiting word of where she would touch down. The meaning of the name “Irma” is “war goddess” and Irma certainly approached us as if going to war with Florida! By all reports it appeared Sarasota would receive a category 5 and suddenly our neighbors to the south in the Keys and Naples were hit hard with a 4.
By the time Irma reached us, we were thankful to hear Irma dropped to a Cat 1. Keep in mind, a category 1 has 75 mph winds and is still destructive. Many residents in Sarasota, Manatee, and Charlotte counties remain without power; some don’t anticipate power for another week. Too many local businesses cannot reopen due to flood and wind damage. Imagine this: a week in Florida’s 90 degree heat and humidity without air conditioning!
The good news: Irma brought out the best in us. Neighbors helping neighbors, offering lodging to those without hurricane shutters, shelter to those in flood zones (and the ability to bring pets!), food to those unable to cook, friends helping to clear broken branches from yards, offering rides to those unable to locate fuel for their cars (half our gas stations are still dry), linemen, firefighters and police from out of state, and so much more. Loss of power and cell towers gave us the opportunity to make new friends during the storm!
NOW is the time to help in the aftermath. In addition to providing financial assistance your favorite local charitable organization, here are some other ways to help:
- If you need a clean-up service, use a LOCAL business.
- Carpool to save fuel during the shortage.
- Offer a ride to an elderly person.
- If you eat out, detour from the chain restaurants and eat like a local.
- Help a neighbor clear their yard.
- If you aren’t going to use your hurricane canned food/water supplies, donate them to a food bank.
- Give blood, save a life.
Helping someone else feels good … one good deed goes beyond what you can imagine.