Please help

These days I get most of my news by reading the Internet sites of major news organizations including the BBC, Washington Post, New York Times, National Public Radio and several others. I don’t bother to try to keep up with television news, late night commentators or other sources. I say that at the start of today’s journal post because I really can’t imagine what the news is like in the 24/7 news stream of television network “news.” One of the reasons that I don’t watch television news is that I find it to be repetitious and often boring.

Even thought I don’t watch television, I’m completely bored with all of the coverage that is being given to the President’s assertion that Alabama was in the path of the storm. I’m not amazed that he said it. He has made so many false and misleading statements as President that even his most ardent followers don’t turn to him for the truth. No one expects him to be a source of factual information. And I’m not even surprised that he has gone to such an effort to argue with the National Weather Service’s attempts to get accurate information out to the people of the United States. He has now shown not just one, but two altered NWS maps.

But seriously, people. Just ignore him.

It has been five days since winds of up to 185 mph hammered the Bahamas, equalling the highest ever recorded hurricane winds at landfall. the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama are devastated. People have lost absolutely everything they had. There are entire neighborhoods - entire cities - that are completely destroyed. 30 people have been confirmed dead and there will be more deaths discovered as the people of the Bahamas continue to mount rescue and recovery efforts. According to the United Nations, there are 70,000 people in “immediate need.”

The Carolinas are being hit hard by the storm right now. There is widespread coastal flooding. Some areas have as much as eight feet of water above ground level. Flooded areas could see up to 15 inches of additional rain in coming days. More than 2.2 million people have been ordered to evacuate along the eastern seaboard. The storm has spawned tornadoes and caused power outages for tens of thousands of people.

I have no patience for a petty argument over what was or was not contained in an early forecast. I have no patience for the immature claims of exclusive information that the President has made. I don’t care if it is a violation of federal statute to make a false weather report. It isn’t the only time this President has broken the law, and it clearly isn’t the most serious infraction.

Just ignore him.

Let’s get to work on getting help to those who are in need.

Disaster relief funds have been established at most churches and other houses of worship. You can donate through our congregation by giving a gift at any worship service or sending a check directly to 1200 Clark Street, Rapid City, SD. Visit and click on the giving tab to donate online.

Church World Service responds to disasters around the globe and has resources on the ground already working to bring relief. Contact them at

The Red Cross is on the ground helping with shelter, food, water, medicine and communications. You can donate at

Global Giving has established a Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund that will help with emergency supplies and with long-term recovery assistance. You can donate at:

World Central Kitchen, led by founder Jose Andres, is on the ground setting up kitchens to feed those displaced by the hurricane. Donate at

This is an alarmingly huge storm. The government will provide disaster relief. So will long-established charities and non-governmental organizations. It is going to take the combined efforts of all of us to provide much-needed help.

We don’t have time to argue about where the storm might have gone. We know where it has been, and where it is.

47 years ago a devastating flood swept through our city, causing millions of dollars of destruction. 238 people died. 1,335 homes were destroyed. More than 5,000 automobiles were totaled. It was incredible. And the world came to Rapid City to help. Blankets from Church World Service were distributed. Emergency shelters were established. Food was given to those in need. Special services ministered to the grieving. Even those of us who moved to Rapid City after the flood will never forget the impact that natural disaster had on our community. Our lives and our community have been indelibly shaped by those events.

We, of all people, should have compassion for the victims of Hurricane Dorian. We are able to find the means to provide some support to the agencies and individuals who are working so hard to bring relief to hurricane victims.

Please, please, please be generous.

Several news sites have mentioned that the President stayed home from a planned trip to Poland to mark the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II so that he could monitor the movement of the hurricane. Then he spent the weekend playing golf at one of his resorts. Who cares? Ignore him. At least he didn’t get in the way of the work of the agencies who are making a difference on the ground right now. We know we can count on this president to attack others and praise himself. That’s old news. It’s boring. None of us can do anything to make him more compassionate.

We can, however, show our compassion for the victims of the storm. We can visit the web sites of the agencies that are bringing relief. We can study up on the needs that exist and how best to respond to them. We can show that we will not forget the people of the Bahamas or any of the other victims of this storm.

Copyright (c) 2019 by Ted E. Huffman. I wrote this. If you would like to share it, please direct your friends to my web site. If you'd like permission to copy, please send me an email. Thanks!