Shelter from the Storms: How You Can Help Recovery Efforts
On Saturday, December 26th, the day after Christmas, I sat in my bathtub with my two crying girls and a dog as tornado sirens blared all around us. I would learn later that night that towns all around us were devastated by this storm, though this time we were spared.
We were not so lucky in 2011. On February 28th, 2011, the town we lived in in Ohio at the time flooded. We were forced to evacuate our home through flowing – and freezing – waters at 4 o’clock in the morning. When we came back the next day we learned that we had lost basically a third of our life. Which for me, included a lot of books. In fact, yesterday we were at Half Price Books and The Teen saw a complete edition of Edgar Allan Poe and I shared with her that when I graduated from high school that I had received a little bit of money and spent it to buy the complete works of Poe. That book, like so many others, was lost in the flood.
The city of Rowlett is about 15 minutes from my house and it was devastated by the storms on Saturday. Yesterday I called and talked to the teen librarian there because although we do not have a lot of money, I do happen to have some books. And man do I know what it is like to lose the things that you love in a storm. So I offered to take them some books if they thought they could help distribute them to their community. It was in this conversation that I learned that the Rowlett Library is acting as a shelter for people in this time of terrible loss. The High School librarian is volunteering there to help coordinate efforts. People are coming there to make important contacts, find the help that they need, and to just find a moment of peace in the aftermath of the storm. Libraries are important community resources.
Here are some of the various people taking donations that I know of. If you know of more, please add them in the comments.
Shields Elementary in the Dallas ISD suffered a lot of damage and they have an online site where you can go donate money to help them rebuild and restock their school library: https://redoakisd.revtrak.net/tek9.asp?pg=products&grp=3
LakePointe Church is Rockwall is one of several churches taking donations to help the Rowlett community. They are currently taking donations of canned goods and gift cards. If you donate after this week maybe call and see what they are asking for at that time. I know that they were asking for trash bags to help with the clean up and it looks like they no longer are.
Gas Monkey garage is hosting a benefit and taking donations on Saturday, January 3rd.
You can also look at https://garlandtx.recovers.org/ to find out some additional ways to help the city of Garland, Texas.
WFAA has a link to a variety of recovery efforts you can donate to: http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/2015/12/28/how-to-help-tornado-victims/77965462/
The Dallas Morning News also has complete coverage and a list of ways you can help the recovery effort: http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2015/12/how-you-can-help-tornado-victims.html/
The Rowlett Public Library address is 5702 Rowlett Rd, Rowlett, TX 75088. I have never met a library who didn’t appreciate monetary donations. Maybe you can donate to help them provide programming for kids and teens during this long and difficult road to recovery.
And wherever you are, keep everyone in Texas and the surrounding states that have been so greatly affected by the storms of this week in your thoughts. Sadly, a lot of lives have been lost.
Just the other day Amanda MacGregor and I were talking about all the good things that have come into our life and the good things that we have gotten to do because of TLT. And to me, this is one of the greatest. Because of all those conferences I have attended and the generosity of publishers and authors, I have a lot of ARCs and books laying around. Many of them I have loved and been moved by. To own a book is one of the greatest feelings I know. Thank you all for reading TLT and helping me give this small gift to teens in a time of need. A ton of people helped my family out in 2011 when our home suffered from the storms, thank you for giving us an opportunity to pay it forward and put books in the hands of teens in this time of great need.
And again, if you know of recovery efforts or places taking donations – and it doesn’t have to be just in Texas, I know that many states have been effected – please link to them in our comments.
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About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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