Saturday, September 24, 2011

A message from Jessica Martin

They still currently don't have internet, or electricity in part of their house, so she asked me to forward this message along:

Kindly let everyone know how I much I greatly appreciate them. Whether it was a donation, a prayer.. Any and all, I am most thankful for. Please let them know, I, in turn, am also paying it forward.
I am tremendously grateful and am also helping other flood victims as I can. I had a ton of baby clothes from Roman, that I had initially had listed for sale on craigslist to try to get a few bucks to put towards other things we need. Instead, I am donating these things to other flood victims who, unlike me, lost their childrens clothes, toys, etc in the flood. I am very fortunate to have only lost what we did.. Some ppl lost everything. 
If we all work together to help our fellow man in our time(s) of need.. We have no idea how life changing it could be for someone and can hope when we are the ones in need, there are other compassionate ppl who would reach out a hand to us too. Like you ladies did here.. Heather, I so appreciated your care pkg, blog efforts and everything from you all. 
It makes me feel so proud to be able to turn and continue spreading that same kindness to others. ♥

Also, she said that FEMA deposited $1700 in their bank account, and while that isn't much compared to the $50,000 in damages that they accrued, it will be enough to re-insulate their basement so that the heating bill doesn't skyrocket in the winter.  So anything that you can do to help is still much appreciated!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The aftermath....

The water has receded.  What's left looks even worse than when the water was there.  Luckily, the water never made it up to the first floor of the house, like they anticipated it doing when they evacuated.  Which also means... all of their pets that they had to leave behind are safe!

However, everything in the basement and garage are TRASHED.  Full of mud and debris.  They currently have a huge dumpster and are just tossing everything in there.  The estimated damage, last I heard, was over $50,000.  They still don't have electricity, plumbing, or septic.  No showers, no cooking, no lights, etc.

Jessica said that because the water didn't reach the first floor, a lot the things they need were salvaged.  However, they did NOT have insurance to cover flooding, since it is so rare in their area, so unless FEMA steps in, they will have no financial assistance besides what we can raise to help them.

So PLEASE do what you can.

Here is a list of things that they need to get by during the clean up process.

They found the van.... on top of a riding mower.

The bridge to their house.

The bridge, again.
A home on their street.

What was left of a garage.
Their son's soccer ball, and a paint can, found a mile away.

There used to be a log cabin and play furniture here....

Their garage...

The playpen

Inside... covered with muck

Their beautiful baby boy.

Please do one of the following:

1. Spread the word. If you  have a blog, post, and ask people to follow this blog, and join the facebook group.  If you are on ANY social network, PLEASE spread the word.  The more people know about this, the more likely we will have enough help.

2.  You can send gift cards or items they need to clean up by ordering them off of their Wal-Mart wish list.  You can order either Wal-Mart gift cards, or Visa gift cards.

3.  You can pray, or send positive thoughts, or well wishes their way, or whatever you do.  Leave a message here to show them you are thinking of them. Just keep positive vibes heading in their direction!

4.  You can donate funds by using the Chip In button on the right hand side of this post.

Please don't just do NOTHING.  Everyone is capable of doing at least ONE of those things listed above.  Please do your part to help. Think of what you would do if this was you... or your kids and grand-kids.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thanks for your support!

On September 7, 2011, the Martin's family home was ravaged by flood waters.  They watched as the flooded creek outside their home crept closer and closer, expanding it's banks.  It blocked off their road so that nobody could go in or out, and their oldest kids couldn't get home from school and had to go stay with a family friend.  Vinnie couldn't get home before the road got flooded, and had to park a half a mile down the road.  When he got there, the septic system went out, and water started flooding the basement.  Slowly, it filled with water, and the bank of the river was taking over their yard.  It was coming close to the van in front of their house, and getting closer... fast.

Before they knew it, water was a foot deep in the basement.  All they heard outside was rushing water and trees cracking and breaking.  Within an hour, the rushing water was up to the house, and had busted down the garage door and started pouring into the first floor of their two-story home.  As the van in the front of the house floated away, the moved as fast as they could to move the pets upstairs to higher ground.  They got the cats and one pair of birds up there, but couldn't get to 3 other pairs in time.  They packed a small bag of stuff, and their parrot, and hiked a mile in the muddy, slippery woods.  All the while, carrying their two youngest children, the parrot, the bag, and Jessica's purse through the torrential rain.  Jessica said that the whole time they were walking, the parrot kept saying "Woah!... Woah!"  Finally, they got to Vinnie's car that was parked up the road, and headed to Jessica's mom's house, leaving their home behind.

They don't have flood insurance, and at the current time, do not know if they will have a home to go back to.  They do know that the waters claimed at least one car, and possibly another.  And that the basement and first level of their home were virtually destroyed, along with everything in it.

This blog was designed to be a central place on the web to organize fundraising efforts for locals, and non-locals alike.  Please check out all the tabs on the top of this page to find more info about how to help.  While we are gathering information and assessing damage, we are trying to spread the word, and collect monetary donations, and prayers/well wishes.  Please do anything you can to help out.

The van floating away
The beginning

Slowly creeping up

Right before they left
Their front yard, and the water carrying away their firewood.

Their street sign

UPDATE: 9/8/11 -  Jessica posted on facebook "Vinnie hiked through the woods to see our house this morning. Its still standing. Thank God the water hasn't come up to the next floor as of yet. They say the worst is yet to come in the next few days, so please keep us in prayer as we are very worried about losing our whole house. Our family is safe and really, that is all that matters."  I have also received word that they managed to move 4 more of the 6 remaining birds to safety.  However, the waters are still rising, and are very close to taking over the first floor of their home.