The amount raised is staggering. Millions upon millions of dollars pouring in to help people we have never met in Texas and Louisiana. And the beat goes on.
Just when it seems our country is torn apart more so than at any time since the Civil War, God allows a terrible flood to come and humanity finds a cause on which they can agree.
Not just Americans but people in other nations as well.
And the beat goes on.
A friend asked me this week if anyone is collecting things locally to send to Houston. She didn’t want to send money to the Red Cross.
The next day, Hoosiers for Houston made their mission known to collect items like water and juice and transport those items from Indiana to Texas.
Do you like the Red Cross? Some people don’t, but the Red Cross volunteers do a tremendous amount of good.
Many years ago, I met a man who was a volunteer for the Red Cross in an Indiana county not far from here.
He had gotten into trouble and the court had ordered public service and the local Red Cross chapter in that community needed help.
A terrible tornado blew through the county one Saturday night. I was called by my boss and spent pretty much that entire Sunday morning and afternoon driving country roads with this guy, interviewing people who lost so much. The Red Cross volunteer and I became good friends over the next few years because of a disaster that befell our community.
What are we made of? Well, it isn’t hatred and bigotry and division and malice. It’s love and concern and a willingness to help others like our fellow Americans in Texas who we will probably never meet.
We send our dollars and we don’t complain about the price of gasoline going up because a storm named Harvey wiped out 20 percent of our oil refining capacity.
Yes, we are going through a rough patch right now. So many friends are divided over political issues and people can’t agree on what it means to be an American but when I read those reports of millions of dollars sent to help, when I see pictures of so many people sacrificing so much to go and give boat rides to people who have no other means of escaping the flood waters, I have a much better idea of what it means to be an American.
(Frank Phillips can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)