My heart breaks for these people in Texas while flood waters engulf their homes. Looking at the pics and videos of what they're experiencing right now is heartbreaking. I've lived through a house fire (when I was in elementary school) and a flood (in 1986). The flood was so bad that we had to row in a boat to get to our home. Flood water isn't just rain water - it's backed up sewers, and septic tanks bubbling from the ground, snakes, garbage cans/dumpsters contents, used condoms and feminine hygiene products, dead animals - just every imaginable filth you can think of is floating in your yard and the filthy water seeps into your home. When the flood waters recede, a nasty, stinky film coats everything. Your floors are slick from the slime. There's more to a flood than losing some material possessions - although that's painful, when some of it is mementos from your children, but there's just the filthy slime and stink covering everything you own. Then there's the tetanus shots - standing in long lines hoping the Red Cross can help, neighbors looking for lost pets - some are found dead in bushes. People driving through to look at your damaged home - blocking roads and not having a clue what you're going through.
Pray for the people of Texas and send money if you can, but please do not donate through the Red Cross. Send the money directly to someone you know of that needs help or to a church you trust to hand out the money to people who need it. Please don't send clothes and household items unless asked by specific victims for specific items. People are in need of money right now.