The Sun’s Out … Now What? After the Floods

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sun's out .. now what ... after the sc floods - columbia sc moms blog

Columbia and much of South Carolina recently found itself in the midst of a natural disaster. Areas that never flooded before were under water. Roads and bridges were failing and the rain kept coming. This event is now being referred to as the “1000 Year Flood.” As a result of the hardship our community experienced, volunteers from near and far pulled together to offer support in a time of great need. Each day brought new needs that were met head-on.

And it’s not over yet.

As fellow blogger Laura Ramis mentioned in Forget the Big Picture, we have come together and supported our community, but the needs are going to continue down the road in the weeks and months ahead which is something we must remember.

But what does the picture look like right now? What did the past few weeks look like as those volunteers came out in droves to help either with serving, donating, or clean up? What do we need to remember as we keep moving forward? What do we need to consider as we continue to help in the weeks and months ahead?

Let’s first look at the pictures that pop up on your social media pages. The pictures of flooded homes and streets that have now been replaced with pictures of volunteers doing their thing. You can see helpers sorting items at shelters, serving food to first responders, making food to deliver to community children and clearing out homes that were damaged by the floods.

For me, seeing those pictures restored my faith in human kind. They made me feel proud to be a South Carolinian. Yes, I was one of those people liking and sharing posts with pictures showing how we all stepped up to the plate to help our neighbors. I wanted to flood my Facebook page with all that we were doing that is good. I wanted the world to see that we don’t have to stoop to low levels of looting, vandalism and violence. I wanted to show the world that we didn’t need celebrities and politicians to come swooping in to save the day.

And then I read a post that caused me to stop and think a moment.

A wonderful teacher from my school district posted to Facebook her personal conflict upon seeing all the pictures of volunteers helping out. While it’s great to see folks taking an active part in restoring our community, she questioned and stated her desire to instead see social media filled with photos and stories of those who actually received the help.

That’s when it hit me. That’s what I really wanted to see too.

So I sit here this evening on both sides of that fence. I want to see that people are out there volunteering, especially when there are families who need it the most as they rebuild their lives. But as my teacher friend shared, I would much rather learn about the people who received help and how the kindness of others helped them overcome this devastation.

And now we come to another issue. The issue of those helping by assisting with destroyed homes. Once again, thanks to social media, I had to take a moment to pause. One of our contributors, Kristi Bothur, shared this on Facebook:

For those going out to help in battered neighborhoods…please, please be gentle. You may be on an emotional high to finally be out helping and making a difference, but some of these people have lost everything. They are in shock. The rug you are ripping out is where their children used to crawl. The broken dishes you are tossing in the trash? Fed their family for years. The trash you see were their treasures a week ago. The picture you take of the destruction is their worst nightmare. If someone says they don’t need help, LISTEN to them. They may need more time. They may have another plan. Sit with them and listen to their story. Wait. You may better serve them by listening and coming back another day than by doing what you think needs to be done. ‪#‎prayforsc‬ ‪#‎scflood #‎SCstrong

Her words actual screamed at me because they spoke to me deeply. Probably because I would be that person who wouldn’t want you coming in to my destroyed home and ripping it apart further. I would need time to process and formulate my own plan of action. I applaud those trying to help, but as Kristi shared, these are people’s homes, their memories.

To us it may just be a rug or a destroyed piece of furniture or a waterlogged book, but to the people we are “helping” it is their life. Put yourself in their shoes as you step out to volunteer. LISTEN and when you think it’s time to act, maybe LISTEN some more. This type of help can make the biggest difference in the long run.

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Brandi Cade is a Christian, wife, mom, and Instructional Facilitator at a local elementary school. She is the youth coordinator and also teaches Sunday School for K-5th graders at her church. She married Mark in July 2004. Together they have 3 children: Bradley (10), Tori (8), and Aubrey (4). Bradley and Tori have taught her about parenting children with multiple medical needs. Fortunately their youngest is simply full of life and keeps Brandi and Mark on their toes that way. Brandi holds a BA in Early Childhood, an MA in Curriculum & Instruction, and two Certificates of Advanced Graduate Studies in Doctoral work in Instructional Leadership and Educational Leadership. As an Instructional Facilitator she works with teachers as well as students on best practices for learning in the classroom. Brandi loves the beach, music, reading, writing, blogging, sewing, and her new found interest: Bible journaling. Her newfound interest lead her to create the group Scripture Sketchers for local Bible Journaling fans. She hopes to turn this into a business within the next year or two. She is also a Beachbody Coach and works as an Independent Damsel Pro for Damsel in Defense.

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