South Whidbey responds to Hurricane Harvey


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.



More in Letters to the Editor

Check you facts when talking gun control

Editor, In Lorinda Newton’s March 10 letter, she contends that states with… Continue reading

Guns need as much, if not more, training as cars

Editor, Lorinda Newton’s March 10 letter makes a great argument for the… Continue reading

If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them

Editor, Each mass shooting grieves my soul, be it at a school,… Continue reading

Need to start listening to children about guns

Editor, The latest advice from conservative Newt Gingrich: “Let’s arm teachers.” What… Continue reading

Don’t miss out on Uganda’s dancers Friday

Editor, South Whidbey Islanders: Please rejoice and welcome the dozen-plus young people… Continue reading

Focus gun control on assault rifles

Editor, Mr. Fred Stillwell’s recent letter in which he attempts to create… Continue reading

Thankful to community for festival support

Editor, Island Shakespeare Festival presented its first indoor production in January at… Continue reading

Banning all guns isn’t the answer to mass shootings

Editor, In reply to Sharron Gray’s Feb. 3 letter to the editor,… Continue reading

Concerned with safety of island and country

Editor, I was concerned about the Feb. 7 article “Law will allow… Continue reading

Roundabout isn’t safe solution to traffic

Editor, The Washington State Department of Transportation has not put traffic counters… Continue reading

Thank you for urging responsible climate change action

Editor, Thank you for your editorial urging responsible action in confronting climate… Continue reading

Irony in Navy, civillian responses to security

Editor, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island just concluded a two-week drill which… Continue reading