How to Help Hurricane Victims when you have littles at home

Y’all. This week has been utterly exhausting, both physically and emotionally. It’s hard to believe that one week ago I was landing at IAH after a week on a mission trip in Kenya. We had just a few hours to collect our kids from my parents (as well as the groceries they brought for us, bless them) and get to our home before the storm hit.

It did rain Friday night but Saturday was just drizzly so we were able to get out and about and see a few friends. I remember reading from a news anchor, “If you think we missed Harvey because it didn’t rain much today, we haven’t done our jobs well.” And oh they were right. They DID do their jobs well.

harvey rain

Starting around 9 pm Saturday night, the rain fell, and it fell, and it fell. Hard. Our yard was a lake by Sunday morning. And still the rain did not stop. Jet lag was in full swing, I was missing Africa like crazy. Searching for tickets to go back when I was awake at 1 am. most nights. And the storm raged on. It was all a bit surreal.

7 ways to help harvey victims

My house did not flood. At all. We are overwhelmed with thankfulness but hurting with those who did lose everything. I texted a few friends that I felt like I was having double survival guilt- guilty because we got out of the hurricane ridiculously easy, and guilty because those we left behind in Africa have nothing. we throw away in a week more than they own.

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(Texans are serious about their hat-a-burger love!)

Anyway, my husband is much more skilled than I in tearing out Sheetrock, floors, etc, so I’ve been on kid duty much of this week while he helps. And I know that part is important, too, but I’ve figured out a few ways moms can help even when there are toddlers under foot.

1.) Buy diapers/wipes/formula for shelters or families who lost everything

I put out a post on facebook one evening saying I would go buy diapers, etc for shelters if people from other places wanted to donate. I was able to get over $400 just by that one post! I bought half the items the first night and heading to the store this evening for the rest. These are some of the most requested items from shelters, along with feminine products and underwear.

2.) Cook/Do Laundry

This is something I’m doing every day anyway, so adding a few extra servings is no big deal. Even cookies or brownies to take to busy volunteers is a great idea! Many of them won’t take the time to eat unless it’s brought to them.

Laundry is one of the small things I’ve been able to help our flooded friends with. Some of our dearest friends from church lost many things in their home, but their clothes and some of their curtains are okay but needed washing. Neighbors took the clothes, I’ve got the curtains.

3.) Coordinate helpers

A friend of mine has been a ninja at this. She also has littles but has been helping mobilize help and connect victims with help, all from her home. Check with your church or kids’ school to see if they need help in this area.

5.) Help recover some items

Our same friends’ kids lost almost all of their toys. I took a huge crate of Legos home to wash. They’re fine- but it’s something she neither had the time or mental bandwidth to deal with.

6.) Go volunteer with them!

I think it’s amazing for our kids to see us on mission in person. Here’s the thing, they won’t take us seriously about missions if we don’t show it to them all the time while they’re young. So strap a kid on if it’s feasible and go with them! My older two have been rockstar helpers at three different houses. On Monday, our whole family will go help neighbors with flood recovery.

7.) Pray

Please don’t discount the power of prayer. Maybe you have nothing spare to give right now. But appealing to the father on behalf of the victims- pray for healing, pray for strength and endurance, pray for a change on perspective on things.


About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!