Well, the last couple of weeks have certainly been eventful in the state of Queensland.
The state has seen the worst floods in history. 75% of the state has been declared a disaster zone. That is an area roughly the size of 6 average sized states in the USA. More than 4 times the size of my homeland of New Zealand. This thing is HUGE!
Here, in Roma, we have been blessed. Our place flooded twice, but it was so minor compared to what others have been through. We were living in a highset house, so the water only really affected the laundry and the storage under the house (and we moved things up onto the verandah). Mind you, even with moving stuff out of the way, we had 2 prams and an exersaucer go mouldy, just because it was so darn wet!! The water also meant we couldn't get stuff out of the house for the move, but hey, it was still not that bad. The only other problem we have had is lack of food in the supermarket. People went into panic-buying mode. And the shelves in Woolworth were quickly emptied. You see that sort of stuff on TV, but it was quite eerie seeing it happen before your eyes!
As if all the flooding wasn't enough, disaster hit Toowoomba a week ago, with what has been described as an inland tidal wave. This city, which sits on top of a hill received so much rainfall that a 2 metre high wall of water swept through the inner city, taking cars, furniture, and sadly - people, with it. People were out shopping one minute, and swept to their deaths the next.
Being on a hill, the inevitable happened next. The flood waters rushed down the hill, gaining speed as they went. The Lockyer Valley was all but wiped out. Entire houses were swept away. More people went with them. Some may never be found. Others are being found on a daily basis as the search for bodies goes on.
From there, the flood waters swept through the city of Ipswich and on into Brisbane. Many thousands have been left with nothing. Some houses will be able to be rebuilt. Others will not. Some people will be able to rebuild their lives. Others will not.
Many people will not even get insurance payouts, because their policies don't cover floods. And with so many people claiming, the insurance companies will be fighting to stay afloat, and are likely to be very tough on people.
In amongst all this heartache and ruin, is a family I have met through our wonderful network of Down Syndrome parents. They have two young children, Brodie who has DS, and Harvey. I would like to do something to help them. They have already had it pretty tough, and having to replace their belongings, and rebuild their lives won't be easy.
I know there are going to be a whole heap of sob stories out there at this time. And I know we can't all give to everyone. Which is why I want to choose this one family. With one family to focus on, we can really make a difference. We cannot change the world, but we can change things for this one family.
There are also people out there who have people fundraising on their behalf who are trolls. People who are getting people to raise money for them when they haven't even met the people in question. Many of you will have had experience with the person in particular I am thinking of. But I can tell you, Ange has not asked for anything. She is a real person, who I have met in person. She would probably refuse help if she knew I was doing this, saying there are others worse off. But that doesn't change the fact that she needs this. And I want to do what I can for her.
If you are able, even if it's only a few dollars, please chip in at the link on this page, and when we have enough to make a difference, I will get this money to you, and let you know how this will specifically be helping her. I am sure my IRL friends from the DS community will be able to keep tabs on it all and ensure she receives the money (less any paypal fees, unless these are small enough for me to cover myself - I have no idea what they charge) that is given.
Thank you. And please, even if you can't give financially, remember this family, and the others in Queensland in your prayers.