Hello, my name is Mary Gutierrez. I am a part of the leadership circle for Another Gulf is Possible, the Executive Director for Earth Ethics, and a resident of Northwest Florida. I’ve lived in Florida for most of my life. I’ve been through tropical storms and hurricanes, we know this is part of living along the Emerald Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. I lived through Ivan as it tore apart Pensacola. As a then employee of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection I was out in the field assessing the environmental destruction and damage. I saw too much. And felt even more. My home (not a building) was destroyed (I’m bound to the earth). I met people who had lost everything including loved ones. I was not prepared to take on the role of counselor. I’m an environmental scientist by profession. That didn’t matter however they needed someone to talk with, cry with, and hug. I was happy to oblige because I know it’s not just about delivering water or food or assessing damage, it’s about caring for another human being. Give until you can’t give anymore.
And now there’s Michael. We are now seeing the devastation caused by this monster. A storm spurred by the effects of climate change, dependency on fossil fuels… Cities completely gone, others with no water, food or electricity. The loss of life. Search and rescue still occurring. It’s a long road to recovery. It will take years. People are grieving, in shock, in need. I’m asking that you help as much as you can with personal care products, food, water, cat and dog food, clothes, tents, blankets, your time. We are mobilizing in Pensacola, Navarre, and Fort Walton Beach to help our brothers and sisters in Bay, Gulf, Gadsden, Jackson, Franklin, Calhoun, and more. We will focus our energies on all that need help, but now, specifically the rural communities that have no food, water or electricity. We want to get out there sooner than later and are hoping to have our first trip out early next week.
Let us know how you can or want to help. No effort is too small.