“Until you get out and see with your own eyes how devastating this storm was and how much people lost, you just can’t comprehend it." — Insane in the Mom-Brain's Patti Ford, on the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
‘The Lovers & Fighters of America’ is a monthly column here at Ravishly featuring behind-the-scenes stories of inspirational people taking a stance against hate. Today, Ravishly features writer and blogger, Patti Ford.
In 2009, Patti Ford was feeling the need for a new mode of communication. After a series of, what Ford describes as, “unfortunate medical catastrophes,” the Houston-based mom was left with a vocal cord injury and along with it, limited use of her voice.
Ford described her vocal sound as: “… basically a creepy, whispering, pack-a-day cigarette smoking version of Kermit The Frog.” And as a person who loves to talk, her inability to speak freely inspired the mom of one to start-up a humor blog called: Insane in the Mom-Brain. She said: “All I knew at the time was that talking was my favorite thing and since I couldn’t really do it anymore I had to put it all in writing, because God forbid I let my random thoughts about The Brady Bunch or some miniature donkey in a sweater vest be kept under wraps.”
Though Ford’s vocal cords have since been repaired, her blog and accompanying Facebook page continue to act as platforms for her self-expression. They also offer a sense of community for those who follow along with this funny lady and her daily musings.
From viral videos to humorous rants, Ford has grown a significant following and currently has close to 275,000 ‘Likes’ on her Facebook page. And, it seems the loyal community members aren’t just there for the laughs.
Last month, when Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area with tornadoes and flooding, Ford, whose home was not damaged, felt compelled to help those affected by the storm.
She told Ravishly: “People in the neighborhood behind us were being rescued by boat for two days. Some friends of mine who own a gym behind my house opened it up as a shelter, which is when/where I started to help out a bit by simply supplying towels, bedding, food, pet supplies — whatever I had on hand to give.”
Once the storms stopped, Ford and her friend (with their kids in tow) went out to deliver burgers and sandwiches to people as they started to clean-up their flood-damaged homes. Once face-to-face with the amount of damage and loss, Ford knew she needed to do more to help. She told Ravishly: “Until you get out and see with your own eyes how devastating this storm was and how much people lost, you just can’t comprehend it. It hits you hard, and you kind of get into this NOBODY CAN STOP ME FROM HELPING mode.”
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Ford began taking a hands-on approach, based on immediate needs. She said: “I just started finding people who needed things and buying what I could to help.”
But it wasn’t long before she recognized her limitations. “I realized pretty quickly that I could only do so much with my own bank account, so I decided to ask my readers if they’d trust me enough to give money to me directly and let me spend it on people who need it. It came as no shock to me that they were all over it. I’ve done little fundraisers in the past for various friends and charities, and my readers have proven to be the most giving, awesome people on Facebook.” She then joked: “I will fight anyone who says their readers are better than mine. And they’d better watch out because I fight dirty!”
Ford shared with us an overview of how the Houston communities have been dealing with the aftermath of the storm.
“The situation in Houston differs greatly depending on where you are. If you go to a more affluent flooded neighborhood, the clean-up is going well. Certain communities have more of a network of helpers for these kinds of situations, be it a church or a neighborhood Facebook page or whatever. You post a call to action on a Facebook church or community page, and you’ve got tons of help within hours. Communities have really been coming together to help their neighbors.”
But she also sees that not everyone is getting what they need.
“If you go to some of the lower-income neighborhoods you’ll see that many of them are kind of forgotten, which seriously kills me because those are the people with no insurance, no savings, etc. Those are the areas that are the slowest to get the help needed to get back to normal. Those are the people I’ve been trying to help with the donations I’ve received.”
Ford’s readers really stepped-up when she needed them. The humor writer shared the monetary amount raised, with Ravishly: “At last count we’d raised somewhere close to $6,000, which isn’t much compared to what people like J.J. Watt and other celebs are raising, but for a chick who writes a ridiculous blog about how clumsy and weird she is, I think it’s pretty f@cking great.”
And we, here at Ravishly, think it’s pretty fucking great too! Which is why we’ve chosen to feature Patti Ford as this month’s Lover & Fighter! Patti’s big heart and dedication are truly admirable, and we wish her the best as she continues to help others rebuild their lives after Harvey.
If you know an inspirational Lover & Fighter whom you’d like to see featured on Ravishly, send a message to Shannon Day via Facebook.
Lovers & Fighters say "hell no" to racism, sexism, bigotry, and xenophobia. These men, women, and children are saying "heck yes" to equality, human decency, and love. From bold acts of advocacy to simple moments of goodness, these everyday people remind us of what it truly means to be American.
These lovers and fighters are resistant in the face of intolerance. They are bold in the presence of judgment. They are determined to join forces (or to stand proudly alone) to ensure their message is heard: #LoveTrumpsHate