Since HuffPost Home came to me and asked me to blog about how we live in America, two major things happened to put that topic front and center on the evening news all across America. First, Hurricane Sandy spun up the eastern seaboard, leaving devastation in her wake. Then, a winter storm struck, compounding the suffering in many storm-ravaged areas.
Both of these events, while awful, reaffirm my faith in how we're living in this country. Yes, there was a storm, but in its wake, neighbors checked on neighbors and those lucky enough to escape the water opened their doors to take someone in. When the second storm came, people were there again shoveling driveways, dispatching blankets and sharing warm meals.
Point is, how we're living isn't about a mathematical equation it's about a human equation. It's people turning up in tough times, offering themselves toward a solution. It's a hug when you stand in a pile of wood and nails and mourn for the loss of every single solitary item you own, fighting tears and trying to find the grace and faith to know you can come back from it. And you can. You will. We will. That's the beauty of home and humans, we're resilient. Your four walls will be rebuilt, your faith will be restored and the tragedy of what was lost will be healed with the optimism about what is yet to come. That's how we live in America.
Click through HuffPost Home's slideshow to see ways people are pitching in and upload your own photos of what you are doing to help those in need and follow me on Twitter at @Nate_Berkus
"Featuring cozy Angry Birds blankets for $12.99!" --Anya Strzemien, executive editor, HuffPost Home and HuffPost Style
"Pet food, cleaning supplies and treats for our friends." --Brie Dyas, senior features editor, HuffPost Home and HuffPost Style
"These garbage bags are filled with winter coats, clothing, soap, body wash, and shampoo that I donated at a local drop-off location in Bucks County, PA." --Amy Marturana, HuffPost Home intern
Lori Fradkin, senior lifestyle editor, The Huffington Post
SummerJLS:Jersey young supporting Jersey Strong!
Jessica Vredenberg:Celebrating all those who've helped us in our times of need
Even if you don't live near New York or New Jersey, consider these ways that you can help:
- Restore The Shore: Visit this Facebook page to find out where you can drop off or ship blankets (among other much-needed goods) to hard-hit coastal communities in NJ.
- Red Cross: Donate online or via text message to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
- Federal Emergency Management Association: Visit the government's Hurricane Sandy relief site to learn more ways you can volunteer and donate to areas in need.