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Irma, Harvey…and “One Human Family”

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The stories are pouring out on the tremendous destruction, loss of life, homes and businesses.

It’s that moment we rise as a great nation of compassionate people to help…in whatever way, with whatever means we can. 

It seems it brings out the best in so many of us.

Sometimes, with just a few, the worse.

My heart sank listening to my dear friend, Charles Tobias owner of Pusser’s in Tortola, talk about the incredible destruction on their island. He lost nearly everything that a lifetime of work built. After Irma passed, he started checking on his employees and on his business. He walked into what was left of one of his stores, only to find eight men looting it. When confronted, they turned on him as a gang and threatened him.

Yet, in the midst of the destruction, rampant theft of his property, his focus was on his people. Finding them, accounting for them and seeing who needed help.

It’s that moment where we truly understand that materiality isn’t important.

As those who have passed through Key West have no doubt observed, we have a mantra that captures the right spirit, “One Human Family”.

It’s unimaginable where you would turn if your home is gone, your job is gone or you lost a loved one.

Yet, we rise.

I remember an image from a few years ago. It was the story of two sets of footprints that had been walking in the sand, which then went to just one set of footprints. The writer lamented that God left him alone in his darkest hour. God’s response was that those single footprints were his, carrying that wounded soul in their darkest moment.

We all can find a way to lift someone on our shoulders, even for just a few steps. 

Doesn’t matter what…just find that small way to make a difference.

We’ve read the stories of so many people rising up to help. From raising relief funds, opening their homes, to preparing meals, to raising a hammer to pitch in and help clean up and rebuild.

And…it was for strangers.

“One Human Family”

We’re all together in this short walk through life.

You may not be able to lift a hammer, but look for that moment that you can in any small way, help.

Last night over 100 rescued dogs from Texas and Florida arrived in the Washington DC area for foster care. I was stunned when my daughter Grace sent photos of her taking one of those abandoned dogs into her home. Small gestures.

There’s an organization that’s helping small businesses, families and people in need raise funds to rebuild and recover. It’s Take a few minutes and read through the stories, maybe one will resonate with you.

The Governor of Florida is asking for 17,000 volunteers, similar needs in Texas. Look through the ways to help via the American Red Cross, either with your time or donation.

Our greatness comes in the small, sometimes anonymous gestures that may just make all of the difference to so many, or one person, at this moment.

For us, we have a number of outreach efforts underway in Key West, many are very personal to friends and colleagues, but the needs from these storms extend so much broader.

As many of you that follow us know, we’re a small south Florida business. We’re taking 10% of every dollar in sales this month and directing it to relief efforts in the Lower Keys. That’s where we can best help.

We can only defeat ourselves…find that place where you can make a difference and do something.

“One Human Family”

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  • Erin Parker on Sep 15, 2017

    I’ve looked online for ways to volunteer physically and haven’t gotten anywhere in finding out specifically how to do that. I’m in Tallahassee. I have the financial means to pay for my own travel in order to volunteer in outher cities throughout Florida. Whether it be to help with all the animals or to help people clean up, rebuild, or provide any assistance with distribution of food water, supplies etc. I’m available. I also have 9 cases of 24pks of water that we did not end up needing because we were one of the few who never lost power. I also have 3 days supply of canned goods, food, dog food, etc and so if anyone can point me in the right direction on how to physically volunteer please let me know. I’m also willing to sponsor or help a family in need of these supplies and can help individuals raise money through my social media marketing background and I list the help of social influencers to do so.

  • James Harrison on Sep 13, 2017

    My prayers remain with those devastated and displaced by this horrible occurrence. Those few who chose to take advantage of these travesties will get their justice in some fashion or another. “One Human Family” should be all of our mantras…….