As many people are by now aware, parts of Louisiana have been hit by and are currently still experiencing unprecedented levels of flooding.
From my home here in the Canadian Maritimes, I’ve been watching it all unfold, and I’m heartbroken.
Louisiana was my home – I spent my formative years in and around Walker, in Livingston Parish.
Livingston Parish, which has at last estimate lost SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT of its homes to flooding.
These landmarks that I’m looking at, covered in water which will recede and leave behind toxic mold, unsalvageable heirlooms, lost pets, and more…they are my childhood. My nostalgia, my “oh, I remember going there”.
But until this past week, they were still home to thousands of people. The hope is that they will be home, again, soon, for those people.
The scope of what we already know needs to be done is overwhelming, and as the water goes down, the needs will only increase. My family has given what we can, and yet I want to do more.
And that’s where you guys come in!
You see, one thing I *can* do is knit. And that’s what I’ve done as I’ve checked Facebook waiting for friends and family to update, as I’ve called family as they were busily helping others, as I’ve cried reading the lost and found boards, praying for the safe reuniting of families.
Specifically, I’ve knit this shawl.
It’s made of easy-care acrylic, wool, lurex, and mohair, and is 18.5″ deep and 48″ wide. I’ve put about 30 hours into knitting it over a 5-day span.
I chose rainbow colours for it, because in the faith tradition I hold dear, rainbows are symbols of faithfulness, promise, provision, and love.
And I’m doing this shawl giveaway with it, no strings attached and no pun intended. I’d love to use it, though, to raise as many donations as possible to help those in Louisiana
To enter? It’s simple.
The first and preferred option is to make a donation in any amount to one of these funds
(Note: This post has been edited and will be edited as I receive more information. I’m choosing to list the private/crowdfunding efforts first, as they are for people I know personally and this is the fastest way to provide help.)
This GoFundMe Account is administered through a local church (Riverside Baptist Church); 100% of the monies received are being distributed to assist their parishioners.
My connection: This church is connected with one of my childhood friends; he and I grew up sitting on the same church pew 5 times a week 😉 If he and his wife recommend this as a good place to make donations, then you can rest assured your funds will be put to good use!
PayPal donations can be given to: Ohmdonations@yahoo.com
This is through One Hope Ministries and they are collecting donations to purchase drywall for parishioners who lost their homes.
My connection: One of my dear childhood friends is the pastor’s daughter-in-law. She and her husband are actively involved in their community, and love to help others.
Denham Springs High School Band – this fund is collecting money to sponsor students who lost their personal instruments, and whose families have lost homes and had a devastating financial blow due to flooding. If you’re a musician, you know how much joy being able to express yourself through music brings, and how it provides solace in times of stress. You can help bring music back right here.
My connection: I have a friend from Louisiana that I’ve known since I was 12 and we were geeking out getting our ham radio licenses together. I owe him, big time, because he talked me into going on a blind date with the man I’ve been happily married to for over 19 years!
He and his wife and children lost everything in the flood…and his wife posted asking for donations for this band. Time and distance mean I’ve only ever met her online, but I love her heart and the fact that out of everything, she’s asking for money for helping kids have music again. <3
There are numerous other ways to help – this article provides a fairly comprehensive list. If you’ve donated to one of these efforts, select the first option to enter.
You can also donate to the Red Cross Louisiana Floods fund. You can also call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The Louisiana Flood relief fund is here, and United Way here.
Use the second option to enter if you’ve donated through an organization.
If you’re unable to donate, then the third option is the one you can select to enter. Obviously, I’d rather nobody selected this option, because I want this shawl to provide as much as possible for flood relief. But it’s there to satisfy the “no purchase necessary” requirements 😉
The winner will be selected by a random drawing on 8/28/16 at 3:30pm EST, and will be notified within 48 hours of the contest end. I’ll mail the shawl anywhere in the USA or Canada.
So here’s your chance – do some good in the world, help someone in need…and have a chance to wrap yourself in a handmade, sparkly rainbow. <3
a Rafflecopter giveaway