Often when I watch other people on television who live in areas severely affected by storms I wonder why they live there. And I know that people watching my island on the news may now be thinking the same thing.
Gather supplies, fill the car, hand donations directly to the people who need them and provide hope with your kindness and compassion. Speak to people -- ask their needs and gather contact information, and spread the word.
Worrying from afar wasn't working for me. The wrath of Sandy, frightening as it was, didn't lessen my desire to be there. I wanted to be with my "people" from my hometown and experience Sandy with them.
It is interesting how a time of apparent scarcity brings about awareness. We may feel the strain of the power outages and the lack of convenience in our lives, but in being disconnected from our daily routines, we are actually more connected than ever before.
There are too many people in our communities who find themselves in the middle of a life journey that does not seem to lead them to places of peace and comfort. One of those persons was a former neighbor of mine who took her life a few weeks ago.
Through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram I see and hear what all my friends and loved ones are doing. I can hear their stress and can affirm how they are coping. I can send love and prayers and they can see that other people see them in their time of distress.
Investing in one's community has been part of the culture in the U.S. since our country was founded. Early on, it was as simple as sharing an abundant crop with a neighbor or extending a hand to a stranger in need.