Some of you may know I'm originally from Iowa. And I went to the University of Iowa for my undergraduate degree. My dad's been a football season ticket holder for as long as I can remember. And as a little girl, I slept with a herky stuffed animal every night. He played the Iowa fight song from a musicbox sewn in his torso.
As a mother now, it is even harder to watch the news without thinking "what if that were my family?" I saw a photo of a woman carrying a baby about Ada's size while she was on the second story deck of an apartment in Coralville that already had water halfway up the first floor. I can't imagine having to move into a shelter with your kids and then worry about getting diapers, wipes, baby food, formula, and clothing for them too.
Farms are destroyed, pets have been lost, families displaced, but it couldn't have happened to a nicer state of people. Iowa will rebuild, but unlike other disaster areas in the US, they'll have fun doing it. Being a marketing person, I worried that this would hurt Iowa's current campaign trying to draw people to the state because of how great of a place it is to live. Now I feel this whole situation will only reinforce that message by showing compelling stories of neighbors helping neighbors rebuild and get through the "Floods of '08". It will take time, but Iowa will be just fine.
If you are interested in helping with the relief effort, here are a few organizations that you may want to contact - Family Farm Disaster Fund - Mennonite Disaster Service - Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation - University of Iowa Flood Relief Fund