South Florida: Hurricane Irma Relief

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So today’s post is completely different from my usual…This past week was a crazy one. I don’t even think crazy does it justice… As most of you know, I live in Miami, Florida and unfortunately this past weekend we were hit by Hurricane Irma. I’ve lived in Miami my whole life and hurricanes are nothing new to my city or to Florida in general. Usually when there’s a hurricane headed our way, preparing is chaos but once we hunker down we try to find a bit of humor with our hurricane parties, family sleepovers during the storm, and domino games in the dark… but this time it was a completely different story. There’s nothing humorous about a monster category 5 hurricane coming straight towards you… it’s terrifying, especially after seeing the devastation Houston suffered after Hurricane Harvey.

When I say, I was obsessed with tracking this storm, I mean I was OBSESSED! I would check the news at least 4 times every half hour and no matter how many times I’d check, it was coming straight towards us. So together with my parents, aunt, uncle, cousins, grandparents and all 3 of our dogs we packed up our most treasured possessions mainly consisting of family photos, jewelry and special momentos and headed North ending up in Louisiana. All hotels were booked along the way but we were so blessed that a family friend who was on vacation offered their home for us to stay. Their act of kindness as well as the many people we met along the way in Louisiana touched our hearts.

Packing to leave behind my home, friends and family had to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done… Not knowing what I’d come back to was even harder. It wasn’t difficult because of the material things I had to leave behind, it was difficult because of all the memories you had to let go of and the family/ friends that decided to stay.  It also made me realize how blessed I was to be able to have the chance to salvage and pack up some of my memories, because there are a lot of people in this world that don’t have that opportunity.

As we drove up the state, through Alabama, and arriving in Louisiana my obsession with tracking the storm didn’t falter, but what did change was Hurricane Irma’s path… Somehow some way, thank God, the worst of Irma missed Miami… but unfortunately, it did hit the Florida Keys and the west coast of Florida. Irma definitely left her mark by destroying many homes and businesses. One place in particular is Florida’s little paradise… the Keys. Today’s pictures are actually from my time in Key Largo during Labor Day weekend…aka the weekend I found out there was a Hurricane brewing in the Atlantic.

This place that was once a slice of Paradise has been left completely destroyed, just like other cities in Florida. Grateful and blessed doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel for my situation, but it breaks my heart that many other people weren’t so lucky. If there is one good thing that came out of this hurricane, it’s the pure love, understanding, and compassion I’ve seen from my neighbors, strangers, and people from all parts of the U.S helping in any way they can. It makes me so happy to know that even in these crazy times, we can still be kind to each other.

Any act of kindness, no matter how big or small makes a difference. There are so many ways we can come together and help those that are now suffering with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Harvey. I just wanted to share a few ways you guys can help those that really need it right now…

Below is a list of organizations where people can volunteer or donate to:


1. South Florida Simon Malls

Select Simon malls in South Florida are serving as drop-off locations for the American Red Cross.

The malls below will accept donations throughout September:

• Mall Management offices at Coral Square Mall & The Falls from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
• Simon Guest Services at Miami International Mall from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
• Simon Guest Services and Mall Management office at Dadeland Mall from 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
• Simon Guest Services at Town Center at Boca Raton from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Donations needed include:

• Non-perishable foods
• Blankets
• Pillows
• Portable phone chargers
• Paper plates
• Plastic ware

2. Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is assessing shelter and housing needs with its local branches in Florida and the Caribbean following damage by Irma. Long-term plans to help families repair and rebuild their homes is dependent on support from donors and volunteers. Donate here.

3. PetSmart Charities

PetSmart Charities pledged $3 million to relief and recovery efforts helping pets and pet families in need as a result of Hurricane Irma (and Hurricane Harvey). Funds and donated pet supplies are being offered to animal welfare organizations in the affected regions that are helping displaced pets and helping pet families in need. Donate here. (You can also donate at the checkout registers in PetSmart stores.)

4. American Red Cross

American Red Cross offers shelters, emergency supplies, meals and more for disaster relief. There is a specific portal for Hurricane Irma relief. Donate online here.

5. Ramat Shalom Synagogue 

Ramat Shalom is collecting donations for homebound seniors and families.Donations needed include:  toilet paper, paper towels, personal hygiene products, diapers and cleaning supplies.

Supplies can be dropped off at 11301 W. Broward Blvd. in Plantation. For more information, call 954-706-9392.

6. HandsOn Broward

HandsOn Broward volunteers are distributing water, serving meals, cleaning up parks and supporting the recovery needs of nonprofits. Nonprofits seeking volunteer support and individuals who are interested in volunteering should visit HandsOn Broward’s website at www.HandsOnBroward.org or call 954-233-1300.

Donations to support HandsOn Broward’s programs and relief efforts can be made at www.handsonbroward.org/donors. 

7. South Florida Simon Malls

Select Simon malls in South Florida are serving as drop-off locations for the American Red Cross.

The malls below will accept donations throughout September:

• Mall Management offices at Coral Square Mall & The Falls from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
• Simon Guest Services at Miami International Mall from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
• Simon Guest Services and Mall Management office at Dadeland Mall from 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
• Simon Guest Services at Town Center at Boca Raton from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Donations needed include:

• Non-perishable foods
• Blankets
• Pillows
• Portable phone chargers
• Paper plates
• Plastic ware

8. Companies partner up to help Florida Keys residents currently living at FIU

Several South Florida companies are taking donations to help Florida Keys residents who are living at Florida International University, as they wait for authorities to let them know when they will be allowed to return home.

Items needed include:

• Feminine intimate pads
• Diapers
• Yoga mats (small mattresses)
• Water
• Food
• Blankets
• Pillows
• Clothes

Below is a list of drop-off locations:

• Bolivar Restaurant
841 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach
*Starting 10 a.m. Friday.

• Restaurante Mi Pueblo
10910 W. Flagler Street
noon to 6 p.m.

• 50 Biscayne
Cervera Corp. offices
20 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

• Dezer Platinum
Collins 172, Sunny Isles Beach


Some people may not be in a financial place where they can donate, which is 100% understandable so for those who aren’t, the best way to help is to say a little prayer for those in need or to just treat others with kindness…When you’re nice to someone, it’s like a domino effect, so why not just spread a little happiness and make a bit of a difference in other people’s lives…

Thank you guys so much for reading (If you stayed reading… today was a LONG one!) Hope you have a great weekend! Talk to you guys next week!

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2 Comments

  1. Adam
    September 18, 2017 / 1:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing & wanting to help! Hope your home made it without significant damage & that you and your family are all well. Once again you’ve shown you are a beautiful person inside as well as outside.

  2. September 21, 2017 / 8:11 am

    That’s easily one of the cutest tops I’ve seen in the blogosphere. You look lovely, and sexy dear.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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