Flood Relief Update
Well. We did it. It took some doing, but we made Christmas happen for two deserving families.
Together, we provided both families their entire Christmas dinner, a big breakfast for the morning, TWO carloads of gifts and clothes, a whack of gift cards and $1200 cash, each. Overall, counting both cash and in-kind donations, we raised well over $4000 in less than two weeks.
What an emotional couple of days.
Driving into the Sumas Prairie, it's easy to miss the devastation. If you zoomed by today on the highway, you'd never know anything had happened there.
But if you look closely, you'll start to notice the muddy high water marks on hedges and fencerows and houses.
Drive into the flats and you'll see the berry fields had been nearly completely submerged, only the uppermost tips the usual vibrant ruby red, the rest grey and dusty. Thousands upon thousands of plastic plant flats strewn over acres and acres, stuck in blueberry plants, washed onto roads.
Countless thousands of dollars of hay, abandoned where the receding waters left them, in fields, front yards, caught on the high ground of the roads. Parts of tractors, vehicles, equipment abandoned where they lay, the fields still too wet to retrieve them. Plastic wrapping from round bales blowing like prayer flags high in the arms of the cottonwood trees.
And in front of nearly every house, the physical manifestation of lifetime after lifetime after lifetime, vomited onto the front yard, bins and trash bags piled high at the end of the drive.
Sherry and Kayla both shared stories of their experiences - police not letting them in to save their vehicles, not knowing what was happening until they saw motorhomes and cattle trailers flying up the road out of harms way. How fast the water came up. Sherry's elderly father was airlifted out after staying to try to save their dairy cows, Sherry's son saved her from her house in the bucket of their biggest tractor.
Both families asked me to extend their heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed. There were lots of tears and neither of them expected such an outpouring of support.
So, thank you. This has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I couldn't have done it without you. Happiest of Holidays to all of you.
I've decided to take the holiday hours down to just Wednesday afternoons 1-5 this week and next so I can have some extra time to catch my breath (and clean my house!) after a whirlwind couple of weeks helping our families.