It's been more than a week since something called a derecho decimated our hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and tens of thousands of people are still without electricity — despite the local power company working around the clock. The storm destroyed homes, businesses, power lines, and more than half of the city's centuries-old tree canopy. The cleanup will take months (the photo above shows an area that will effectively serve as a landfill for downed trees).
Everyone is hurting from this, but some have had their lives completely upended. Spoiled food, damaged homes, crushed vehicles, lost medical supplies, and other unexpected expenses leave many people vulnerable during what was already a difficult time. Some families are living in tents after the roof of their apartment complex was ripped away by high winds.
The photos and videos really don't do it justice. An image of an uprooted tree laying on a two-story house doesn't show the dozens of others on the same street, or the miles of power lines buries under hundred-pound branches.
We understand there is a lot going on right now, and we don't want you to give at the expense of other causes closer to your heart. But if you can, we'd love if you considered donating to one of the following local organizations helping people who need food and assistance right now.
(If you give $25 or more, email your name and a screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll record a video message thanking you for your donation, or we can shout you out on the next episode of the Rosecast.)
Meal delivery and well-checks for seniors. (Donate)
Mobile food distribution and street-clearing. (Donate)
A national organization in town to feed families and first responders in need. (Donate)