Labor Day honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made, and continue to make, toward the prosperity, stability, and strength of our nation.
This weekend, millions of Americans will be having a festive time…food, fun, family and friends… reminiscing about summer’s end. However, for 13 million of our neighbors in Texas, Louisiana, and three other Gulf States…as well as their family and friends across the county and around the world…this Labor Day will long be remembered as a time of suffering and pain.
Torrential rains, devastating winds, and widespread flooding have so far taken 40 lives, forced more than 32,000 people from their homes into shelters across TX; and caused levels of destruction that will likely make Hurricane Harvey one of the most powerful…and costliest… storms in US history, including 2005’s Katrina.
To date, Harvey statistics are incomprehensible: 3 times made landfall, once as a category 4 hurricane and twice as a tropical storm; 80+ tractor-trailer loads of food and supplies; 20 trillion gallons of rain in the Houston area…enough to supply NYC’s water needs for 50+ years; 300,000 without power; 40,000 homes destroyed; 24,000 National Guard troops; and countless “Good Samaritan” rescuers.
We do not have to watch helplessly! First, if inclined, we can pray for the souls of those who lost their lives, for peace-of-mind for their families and friends, and for the future well-being of those who survived. Second, we can raise funds. Money for clothing, food, and shelter; health and medical care; and rebuilding materials.
The need for funds is immediate, but it is also long-term, as recovery and re-building will take years. Thus, as part of KRA’s annual 4th quarter Community Care Campaign (CCC), I will empower staff to expand our usual CCC projects, beyond our own neighborhood communities, to include the communities most affected by Harvey.
Whatever monies are raised through local “KRA Cares” fund-raising campaigns will be matched by KRA corporate and the total donated to the American Red Cross. However, for your personal giving, other reputable national organization accepting relief donations include the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities USA, The Humane Society, DonorsChoose.org, and dozens of local organizations.
As we head back to work after the Labor Day Weekend, let’s not forget those who can’t go back to work, because the assisted-living or nursing home, the barbershop or hair salon, the grocery or drug store, the factory or plant, and countless places of business and commerce are either uninhabitable—or gone.
Knowlton R. Atterbeary,
President & CEO