The American Character

I saw a story about a man in Florida, who had just spent 50,000 dollars on hurricane relief supplies, for the Bahamas. CNN tried to interview him, and he said no thank you; he apparently was not looking for publicity.

I always say that it was my Father, who was born in Cuba who taught me to love America. My Mother, born in Ohio, had little interest in history, but my Father knew American history, as well as quite a few other countries history, better than any of my History professors at university. He had come from a nation destroyed by communism and littered with a string of despots, who did not put the citizens of Cuba first; though I do know there are more than a few men of honor birthed on that island; like José Martí, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, and, Ignacio Agramonte y Loynaz.

Hurricane Dorian has devastated the Bahamas, and is now attacking the United States. My friend Linda, who informs me of so much always, was the first person to post a link to help in the recovery, for the Bahamas; but she has not been the last. I have even received email from our town, telling me where we can drop off supplies and exactly what is needed. Major corporations and private citizens, like Carnival Cruises and the Micky and Madeline Arison Family Foundation, have already pledged millions of dollars toward the recovery; folks this is America!

I love and admire that Americans always “step up to the plate”. Lately, it seems all we hear about is what is wrong with us, especially from our own citizens. But the critics do not define me or my America.

Kate and I have had the privilege, of helping to welcome and of sharing American culture, with a lot of immigrants to the United States. Besides Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays, and one which regardless of the Canadian adaption, is truly the American Holiday, the other thing which I always try to explain to newcomers is that part of the American character is giving.

Americans are the most generous people on earth; we give not only to those we know, but to strangers. We believe in volunteering, and you know there will even be more stories coming forth, in the days and weeks ahead, about how ordinary citizens “stepped up to the plate” to help those impacted by this storm.

With so much insanity swirling around us and real needs in our own lives, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure if you can even bear thinking about other’s needs. I truly understand.

I have to tell you, one of the most unexpected and wonderful surprises, of my life, this year, has been my cousin, Paula, inviting me to join her prayer page.

I miss so much about my Mother, including knowing I had someone in my life, who I could call any time of day or night, and say, Mother I need you to pray for whatever need it was; and I knew she would absolutely stop and pray. I also knew she had her own “prayer warriors” she could get on the need.

(By the way, Paula is busy these days filling boxes to be sent to the troops, overseas – American character, at its best!)

I do not know if it will help you, to find calm in this storm of life, but it has done wonders for me; so if at all possible, find a support system! Secondly, figure out how to give back, it is good for the soul.

We really can all pray, which was what the President of the Bahamas requested; and I do not believe there is anything more powerful than the “prayers of the righteous”. But I also urge you to take a look at the options out there to help the many victims of this cataclysmic storm.

Most of us do not have 50,000 dollars to spend at Costco, but below is a list of the things my town was requesting be dropped off, to be shipped to the Bahamas. I bet there is something on that list we can give. Yes, I know that not everywhere where this page is read, will there be a place to drop off supplies, but I also know a lot of churches and civic organizations will be collecting for the storm victims; plus there will a lot of reputable on-line places to give.

Canned goods
Can openers
Mosquito spray
Baby formula
Baby wipes
Cleaning wipes
Work gloves
First aid supplies
New unfueled small generators

If you know of an organization, which you trust, by all means leave a link below.

Meanwhile, America and her people really are beautiful! That is all for now.


Hurricane image from Wikipedia.

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