Another Form of Disaster Relief

This week one of my favorite places was hit hard by a horrendous wildfire. Homes have been lost…homes of friends, homes of strangers. Others had great scares as they were evacuated. All of us have experienced days of ash and smoke. I could say it’s been a horrible week, except that in the face of disaster we’ve experienced the goodness of our friends and neighbors. Donations of material goods, food, and funds have flowed in. It’s heartening how we come together and try to help in trying times.

I want to also suggest one other way to help. But first a little story of another disaster. Hurricane Katrina and the flooding in New Orleans.

We have chihuahuas. When they were puppies I purchased some clothing for them from a store called Chihuahua Gaga. While they do great business online, their storefront is in the French Quarter of New Orleans. A few months after the storm, I decided to see how the store doing post-Katrina. According to their website they were doing ok, except that there were no tourists in New Orleans. They said that they (and the rest of the French Quarter) didn’t flood, yet they were all suffering from lack of business. They, and the other small businesses in New Orleans needed tourists to return.

We happened to be planning our summer vacation and because of the plea for tourists from Chihuahua Gaga, my husband and I decided to vacation in New Orleans. We stayed for a week and ate and shopped and saw the sites and everywhere we went people thanked us for being there. We weren’t part of the rebuilding but we were helping, by spending money in the city.

The smoke has cleared so I want to encourage you to go and eat and shop in Ventura…to spend money in the stores (especially the small businesses). The business owners and their employees are hurting in the midst of this disaster. Losing vital funds for business is a disaster that results from disaster. So, if you live close enough, go shop because this is another way to help.

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