By Lisa Whaley
September has not been kind this year.
True, here in Unicoi County things have been somewhat uneventful, despite the normal day-to-day struggles we all face.
The mountains have continued to surround us with their comforting mantle of green. Friends and neighbors have greeted us warmly. Our churches have offered us comfort. Our local teams have brought us excitement.
But in the rest of the world, it seems as if it disaster has reigned.
First there was the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in the United State at the end of August. Massive flooding hit Houston and Texans struggled to stay safe as they reclaimed their homes from a swath of damage.
Next, there was Hurricane Irma, a catastrophic storm that practically leveled islands such as St. Martin and St. John, then struck Florida with a ferocity that had everyone praying for those caught in its midst.
On Sept. 19, a 7.1 earthquake in Mexico left at least 120 dead and more expected as they work through the rubble. Less than 24 hours later, a 6.1 earthquake hit Japan.
And, on Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, leaving the island reeling to regain power and protect its citizens.
There are a lot of people hurting out there, a lot of people afraid. And at times, it may seem that there is little we can do here in our safe corner of Tennessee.
But there is always something.
East Tennessee State University has a website providing information on how to support those affected by recent disasters, along with a helpful link to reach aid organizations. These include such agencies as the Center for International Disaster Information, UNICEF and the Mexico Red Cross.
In this day and age of the Internet, information like this can be just a click away. Just remember to be cautious and make sure you are dealing with a reputable agency.
Continue to pray for those who have been affected by these disasters. And keep your eyes open for ways to help, either on your own or through your church.
Time has proven again and again that those living in the mountains of Tennessee are some of the most generous people in the world.
Let’s reach out in any way we can and remind them of this truth.