Greetings, discerning readers.
After receiving last week's newsletter, MarketingProfs reader Miriam Schwab took me to task for not uttering a word about Hurricane Katrina and its terrible aftermath along the US Gulf Coast. The truth is, I did think about writing something, but felt a little tongue-tied at the prospect: What could I possibly say that might be at all meaningful, and not merely a perfunctory expression of sympathy?
Then, yesterday, my friend Holly Benzenhafer Redford offered perspective that I found enlightening. Holly now lives near Boston but grew up in Mississippi, approximately 120 miles inland from the Gulf Coast. Her family still lives there, and she spent most of August 29 on the phone with her parents, keeping vigil with hourly phone calls as the winds blew, trees fell, and the water rose. Happily, although her parents lost electricity, the phone line never went dead.
For those of us who don't live in or near the Gulf Coast, and who wonder how to best help those who do, Holly offered a prescription.
First, give money. If you have it, give it. There are many organizations collecting on behalf of the hurricane victims and rebuilding efforts, including local places of worship and the Red Cross (www.redcross.org).
Second, give of your time. The Red Cross recently issued a call for an additional 40,000 volunteers to act in various humanitarian capacities. Training as a Red Cross volunteer is a gift you'll be able to offer victims of this disaster... as well as those of the next.
Finally, and most fundamentally, be mindful of the hardship, suffering and even the inconveniences of those who are still struggling with the storm's wake (and who likely will continue to struggle for some time to come).
As Holly said: Every time you turn on a light, be thankful you have electricity, and think of those who don't. Every time you go to your office or to school, be grateful you have an office or school to go to. Every time you stop for gas, think of those who have been waiting in gas-ration lines for two hours or more. And each time you come home, be thankful you have a home to come back to.
Simply keep the victims in mind as you go through life's daily routines. It's a powerful way to honor those far less fortunate than ourselves.
Thanks for stopping by. As always, your feedback is both welcome and encouraged.
Until next week,
Chief Content Officer