As many of you already know, we are from Nebraska. Over the past week, our state has been devastated by historic floods and blizzards. At least 74 cities, including the one where we live, have issued emergency declarations. The photo below is on a bridge in our town of Crete, with the river running over it.

Levees have given way, people and livestock have died and been misplaced, homes have been destroyed, roads have been washed away, and bridges have literally floated down the river.

Gibbon, Nebraska

Today, we had the opportunity to visit Gibbon, Nebraska, where 15-20 homes were severely damaged when the Wood River overflowed and flooded the streets in one residential area of town. We spoke to several people who were home when the flood happened and they said the water came pouring in so quickly, they barely had time to escape.

Nebraska flood victims

The man pictured in the middle in the photograph above was watching his son’s dog while he was in Texas last week when the flood happened. He said it happened without warning and so rapidly that he did not have time leave the house. Instead, local firefighters rescued him by boat.

Another local man told us he came to check on his elderly mother when he saw water coming down the street. He was able to get his mom into his pickup and by the time he began backing out of the driveway, the water had already started filled the garage area. His mother’s home may well be a total loss.

The picture below is of the woman’s bedroom. All of the flooring and contents of the room were destroyed by the flood. While they were able to get the water out of the flooded basement, there are still about two feet of mud there.

Nebraska flood damage

 

Nebraska flood Fremont

But these floods brought more than just water. They brought ice, as well. Huge slabs of ice racing along in the flood smashed into houses, buildings and other property bringing a whole new type of damage. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Check out the ice found in a kitchen in the town of Verdigre, Nebraska, below.

Nebraska flood kitchen

While our home is fine, others in our area have had major damage from the flooding. As I write this on Tuesday morning, more rain is falling and will only further complicate the situation. Many of you have reached out to make sure we were OK and have asked what you can do to help. We are so grateful to all of you.

How to help Nebraska flood victims

For those of you who are interested donating money directly to flood relief, here are a few communities and charities to which you can send funds. We have personally talked to people at all of these locations and are confident your money will be used immediately to help flood victims in need.

Gibbon Area Relief Fund – You can donate to the Gibbon Area Relief Fund via PayPal HERE. All donations to this fund will be run administratively through Kearney Area Community Foundation, which means they are charitable donations for tax purposes. KACF will provide tax records for all gifts $250 and over. Any donations that are given at this time will be dedicated to flood relief. If six months down the road the flood-related needs in the Gibbon area are met, they will distribute remaining funds given now to other regional flood relief efforts.

Fremont Area United Way Give online HERE or mail a check to Fremont United Way, 445 East 1st Street, Flood Victims Fund, Fremont, NE 68025.

Norfolk Orphan Grain Train Donate on line HERE and select “Nebraska Floods” for your donation to go directly to flood victims. Or, mail a check to P.O. Box 1466, Norfolk, NE 68702. They will help with food, clothing and basic needs and hope to help with construction and rebuilding, as well.

Butler County/David City Area Donations can be sent to Bank of the Valley, P.O. Box 71, Flood Victims Fund, David City, NE 68632. Money will be given directly to a local Fire Department to help with supplies and food/drinks for all the flood victims in need. If you’re in the area, you can also stop by any branch location and make a donation there.

These are just four communities in need. There are so many others, and not just in Nebraska. Neighboring states, like Iowa, have seen massive devastation, as well. Families across the region have lost everything and need help right now. We’re proud to be from a state that has come together so quickly to provide assistance to their neighbors and hope this serves as a resource for those who wish to help, as well.


If your town has a fund set up for flood relief and you’d like us to list it here, please send us an email at admin@postcardjar.com

  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
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You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
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We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
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Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
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This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
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Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
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Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
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Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
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It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
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What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome
  • Our daughter, Meghan, is a cardiac ICU nurse. Despite all of the current uncertainties in healthcare during this pandemic, early this morning she put on her scrubs and went to work a 12+ hour shift. 
She is not alone. Across the country and around the world, healthcare workers are putting the safety of themselves and their families at risk to help others. It's what they do. Every. Single. Day. 
We are incredibly grateful that there are selfless people like this in the world and we pray for them and we hope you'll join us. 
We couldn't sleep this morning, so we wrote instead. Click on the link in our bio to read our morning thoughts and prayers.
  • Trying to decide where we’ll travel this weekend. Covered porch? Living room? 😉
  • We are staying home. 
We've been here for almost a week now because Ann is one of "those people." You know the ones. Those people with an underlying health issue. Those people with a suppressed immune system. One of those people who could become seriously ill, need hospitalization, and even die if exposed to the coronavirus.  Those people need your help to stay safe and live. And all you have to do is stay home when you don’t NEED to be out.

Over the past few days, we’ve seen photos, videos, and witnessed first hand people of all ages (but mostly young people) gathering in groups for what us mid lifers would consider “non essential” reasons: birthday parties, movies, youth sports practices, St. Patty’s Day celebrations at the bar, spring break at the beach, and the like. 
We don’t understand it. 
We try not to judge. 
But just for a time during this worldwide pandemic, could we ask people who are participating in non-essential activities to consider who “those people” most at risk really are?

Those people are already battling serious illnesses.

Those people want to see their grandchildren grow up.

Those people need to do their jobs as nurses and doctors.

Those people are first responders. 
Those people run the grocery store, and the pharmacy, and the gas station. 
Those people pray for you and your generation. 
And what about those other people? 
The ones you know.

Those people who made sacrifices to meet your needs.

Those people who took care of you when you were sick.

Those people who went to your games and cheered you on. 
Those people who taught you in school.

Those people who helped you pay for college.

Those people who cooked your favorite dish for you.

Those people who taught your Sunday School class.

Those people who have forgiven you.

Those people who will always love you unconditionally.

We keep wanting to scream, “It’s not about you, it’s about those people!” But the truth of the matter is, IT IS ABOUT YOU. 
You have the power to help.
You have the power to influence others.
You have the power to flatten the curve.

And by not changing your behaviors, you also have the power to harm. 
How will you choose to use your power?j
  • We’re sharing your postcards and encouraging you to help others and stay positive. 
If you’d like to send us a postcard, mail to: Postcard Jar, PO Box 334, Crete, NE 68333.

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