Remember the Gulf

Over the summer months, I watched the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Did you? We couldn’t miss it! While the oil was gushing, news crews broadcast the impact hourly, and then daily-we even had a live deep sea video feed! We knew the beaches were in danger. Animals were losing their habitat. People were losing their livelihood and food source. We listened to the governors and mayors in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. We watched Jimmy Buffett’s benefit concert on the Alabama beach (some of us several times-I admit). We were aware of the problem because it was all over the news. Now that the well is capped, the news coverage has dried up as well. 

 But the damage remains…and we should not forget. While the oil may be mostly offshore, (and I’ve visited several beaches in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle since July and can assure you they are oil free and open for business), tourism is still stinging from the negative publicity. Shrimpers and fishers are still unsure if their catches are safe…as are the hesitant consumers.   

 All this may seem gloomy, but hope is present-let’s take a look…

Several individuals and organizations are trying to keep the catastrophe in public sight. Last Saturday, an article on Yahoo News examined the withdrawal of public interest from the Gulf of Mexico situation. You can read the article here. The article features an interview with Dave Edmunds, who recently started in an effort to keep the ongoing effects and recovery efforts in front of the public’s attention. Visitors to the site can submit benefit event information or sign up to volunteer with recovery efforts.Turtle

Fundraising seems to be the best way to help the Gulf Coast…and two New Orleans t-shirt vendors are doing just that. Fleurty Girl (a.k.a. Lauren Thom), who sells New Orleans inspired t-shirts, jewelry and accessories, has created an adorable “Rescue Me” t-shirt. The shirt features an adorable, (yet manly enough for guys to wear)  turtle. Best of all-this girl thinks of every angle-no petroleum products were used in the printing process (love it!). Even more impressive, Fleurty Girl is giving 100% of the shirts’ net proceeds to Audubon Institute’s Louisiana Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Rescue Program to rescue marine animals impacted by the oil spill. Take a look- The shirt is also in kids’ sizes. Check out the “Rescue Me” earrings, too!

Blake Haney and Patrick Brower’s Dirty Coast (referencing New Orleans’ location between the East and West Coasts-and that its the land of dirty rice and oil drilling), has also produced a benefit t-shirt. Part of the profit from the sale of this shirt is going to help out the area fishers. This shirt also displays a fun design:

I love it when businesses show they care about the world around them-and these two shops are doing an excellent job. Let’s take a moment to give them, and  Dave Edmunds, a round of applause for showing us hope in the midst of catastrophe. And maybe we can even help out and purchase a really neat shirt (or two)!


Seek, See and Do

Empty eyes…blank stares that pierce compassionate hearts. We see those looks on TV or at a concert intermission as the rich and famous convince us to donate “the amount you would spend on your coffee each day” to help a child in Africa…Central America…Asia. But do those hopeless looks only exist in remote villages? Our view of pain and sadness is all around us. Whether it be inside our homes or down the street, we see suffering because of loneliness, violence, illness, or poverty every day. News organizations thrive on those stories. Their headlines fill our computer screens and pop up on our PDAs. It sems the percentage of uplifting news actually published by major news organizations is quite low. If you are like me, after days of being inundated with sad or anger-provoking stories, I wonder if we can ever have enough “good” to outnumber to “bad.”

 Truthfully, I believe the world does have more love than pain. We just have very few moments to see it. Many people and organizations are making a difference. While the Red Cross, Compassion International, and celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Bill Clinton are able to garner international audiences for their causes, others are quietly spreading joy with little or no fanfare.

So here is the reason for this blog…to highlight the hope in our world views. I will search out the encouraging stories of world changers, whether big wave makers or small fish in the sea of need, and share them here. Together, we can experience their stories, their hearts, their passions and applaud their deserving efforts.

Window shopping is great, however, being a part of the display gives even more joy. By also embracing a need that tugs at my heart and for which I have the resources to lend a hand, I can also be a part of the solution for a hurting world. As I search for opportunities, I will also share them with you. Some might be perfect for me, other options may be just right for you, and many may be ways we can help out together! Whether we help out people, periwinkles, or polar bears, lets just be part of the hope in this world! And, if you know of a way we can help out, or know of a person who is, share it with us all!

So the best news is…Hope really is In Sight.