Houstonians are some of the most generous people in the world but when I looked for organizations, individuals and churches helping Hurricane Sandy's victims, I found nothing.
What I did find was many Houstonians with a negative perception of the Northeast and the aftermath of Sandy.
-- People dead
-- Homes and businesses destroyed
-- Streets flooded
-- Power cut
The pictures and video out of the Northeast are like something out of a movie but for Houstonians, it's all very familiar. We're used to hurricanes. We know how to deal with them, but there are cynics in our town that aren't very sympathetic to those affected.
Check out some of the posts on our FOX 26 Facebook fan page:
"Enough, Sandy was a cat 1, what would those yankees do if they got hit with the storms we get...damn i'd pay money to see a storm like ike hit new York," Adam Farquhar wrote.
"I am with you on that one, we had to deal with rita, fred, ike, and none of them yankees gave a flying hoot , when we had the devasting wild fires, no one cared, especially the government. it is weather, deal with it, like we do here on the gulf coast," Sonja Norman wrote.
Why all the negativity? We turned to University of Houston Sociology professor Dr. Luis Salinas for an explanation.
"Some of it is the lacking of empathy. The idea that it's happening to them and people think, ‘Oh, it happens to us all the time. What's the big deal?' Well the issue is, for them, it is a big deal. They're totally not used to things like this. Infrastructure isn't built for this and natural disasters are occurring more frequently in the country where they've never occurred before," Salinas said.
If something unusual happened down here, say a snow storm or a tornado, we wouldn't be able to handle it either, he said.
"What happens is they see people in other states, oh New England, that has nothing to do with us here in Texas, so just let whatever happens to them happen. Well, it does affect us. We're part of the same country. They're our brothers in the Northeast," he said.
Brothers, not enemies: in a time of need, it shouldn't be a Yankees versus Southerner type of attitude, he said.
"Another aspect about this is it's not just tunnels and subways. Fifty people have died. They're stranded, they're living without heat, and it's cold up there. People's lives are very uncomfortable so we need to be very concerned about that," he said.
While I haven't yet found any local organizations helping out, the Red Cross Greater Houston chapter sent two trucks up to New Jersey on Wednesday to help out.
"I think people are being impacted by the things they're seeing on TV, hearing from family and friends, so our donations are up, but there's always a need for more," Red Cross' Cameron Ballentyne said.
If you would like to help, there are three ways you can donate to the Red Cross.
-- Text the word "Red Cross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
-- Call 1-800-RED-CROSS
-- Go to RedCross.org
The Salvation Army and the organization "Feeding America" are also accepting donations for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.