I hadn’t felt such anxiety in a very long time. Quite honestly, the only other time I felt this sense of helplessness was when my late husband was first diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 12 years ago. That was the day I remember feeling a sense of “I could lose everything”. Hurricane Harvey brought out those same emotions in me. I had to turn off the news to stop from feeling hopeless and helpless. But turning off the news didn’t switch off what was happening all around this great city. I am still astounded by the utter devastation and loss of lives and property.
Thankfully we made it out ok with no flooding. But as I watched the water levels rise on my street and getting closer and closer to my front porch, I could only imagine that my three storage units were completely wiped out, and the new studio space that I signed the lease for just one day prior was completely under water! I feared the worse. Not knowing for a few days was the worst part.
Thankfully, after the water receded on my street and I was able to go check on my spaces, I was shocked that I was granted a miracle – nothing was flooded! I couldn’t believe how lucky I was after seeing what happened to so many people throughout Houston. I knew that God spared my stuff for a reason. I knew I had a responsibility to help someone get back on their feet. I knew the time to act was now!
I know that there are more pressing needs like food, water, clothing, and I have helped a favorite charity with that mission, but I also believe that God blesses us with gifts and talents that we must use to help others. My talent is decorating, and I also have resources and connections that God has brought into my life, and that is what I will use to help. Helping even just one family get back to normal is better than sitting on the sidelines complaining that people need food now and not furniture – trust me, I’ve heard that! BLOCK! The folks affected want to get back to normal…they want to get help to rebuilding their homes and their lives. Furniture is a part of the deal.
I have three storage units with everything I own….some things I would never want to ever part with, and some I would love to just give away to a family who needs it. The fact that they were spared from any flooding makes me want to give them away even more. So yesterday I spent the day writing a “sales page” for my ADOPT A FAMILY PROGRAM. Doing what I do best – decorating, I will help one low income family get back on their feet. Ideally, I would love to help a few, but I am starting with what I know I can reasonably handle and handle well.
First off, I need a family – I know there are tons of folks out there who need help. But I am looking for a single mom with very low income, who lost it all and have no family to help or any resources to speak of. That I can totally relate to as a single mom myself. I will go in after clean up and decorate the entire home – providing all the furnishings and home essentials, clothing and other basic needs.
Next, I am collecting cash donations, volunteers, furniture, household items, and clothing from my entire community. I have a lot of designer friends who are hoarders like me! I have already gotten so much interest in helping. Every little bit helps. Here’s where you can donate
Once we have enough donations, I will announce the family that we will be helping and the date we will be going in for the makeover. Let me tell ya this…..just like the Pregnancy Help Ministry that I have founded over a year ago (The Solomon Project), I will do it with or without donations. I will do what I can with what I have. I only believe in taking ACTION. Action always seems to inspire others to act. I hope I get donations, but that won’t stop me from helping in whatever way I can
I am also asking that local residents use the services of Casa Vilora Interiors for rebuilding. We have discounted our design services to help our community rebuild. Helping some of the families who have the means to get their rebuilding projects started quickly, will only help the community as a whole. My rates have been significantly reduced as a way to help rebuild. I am calling it THE GOOD NEIGHBOR DESIGN SPECIAL; because really, it is all about neighbors helping neighbors. I was so inspired by the rescue workers and other folks jumping into action to help others – some even at the risk of their own lives! That my friend, is what us Houstonians do best! We stick together and help each other.
And lastly, I wanted to link an article that my good friend Carla Aston wrote, packed with resources and information to help those affected with what they need to move forward. Here is the article
My heart goes out to everyone affected by this horrible hurricane. I am praying for a speedy recovery! WE LOVE TEXAS!
As Carla said so eloquently “Texas Feels Your Love”
Feature Image – Illustrated by H Nichols Illustration
Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!