South Whidbey responds to Hurricane Harvey

Editor,

This is a tender time in our community, our country and the world. This week I experienced the magnitude of heart and connection that the residents of South Whidbey have in all directions. My husband, Daniel Goldsmith, was called up by FEMA to respond as a home inspector for the recent disaster in Texas. In the past he would fly in, report for assignment, try to find a car to rent and a place to sleep that was less than two hours from his territory, and then spend weeks serving overwhelmed applicants as their first FEMA responder. This time, responding to Hurricane Harvey, he decided to do something more — buying a utility trailer and a truck that’s free from storm damage, and useful to folks as they begin to clean up and rebuild.

I put an email out to several friends, and then the Whidbey version of the coconut email wireless went into full gear. In less than a day, we had that trailer full of donations of clothing, bedding, inflatable mattresses, cleaning supplies, tools, games and toys, food, toiletries, cat and dog food. Dozens of people all ages showed up, having cleaned out their closets and cupboards, or gone to shop for whatever was needed. From a neighbor with a single blanket to the folks at Ace Hardware that showed up with a whole truck-load of merchandise, it just kept coming.

It will take a couple of days for Daniel to make it down to Houston, carrying all the love and wishes of hope from this magnificent community, and he will make sure it gets to the shelters and agencies that know who is in need. I think of that truck and trailer as being all of us, sending our thoughts and prayers to the displaced folks down there to be safe and resilient.

I usually cry for missing my partner, worried for his safety, but today my tears are with deep gratitude for where we live and who we share it with. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

SARI SPIELER

Freeland

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