Life Changing Lesson Learned

Cat Russell
Basketful Relief Project

So the mission of the Basketful Relief Project is to write and publish beautiful children’s stories with the intent to help support world famine relief efforts and local food assistance programs here at home. Hence the tag line: Beautiful Children’s Books to Feed Young Tummies and Minds.

Launching the Basketful Relief Project in 2019, I started a personal fundraising page for famine relief efforts for infants and children in Yemen through Save the Children. I invite you to skip on over to this fundraiser and make a direct charitable contribution to this effort today!

Just recently, and I have heard this before, someone asked me, why Yemen? Inherent in this direct question is a legitimate wondering as to why worry about someone else’s problem so far away? Out of sight, out of mind as the saying goes. We have enough to be concerned about here at home. This last sentiment is true of course, but I myself had a life changing experience back in 2013 which has given me a new perspective on the interconnectedness of our world. I feel I should be dutifully concerned about the plight of infants and children experiencing significant trauma as innocent victims of a brutal civil conflict because, it could someday happen to us here at home. If I put myself in someone else’s experience, especially if its a crisis, I would most certainly want others to not shrug off my situation as out of sight out of mind.

Which brings me to my life changing lesson learned in 2013. In September of that year, locally here in Lyons, CO and up and down the Front Range, we were innocent victims of a 1,000-year rain and a 500-year flood that devastated our town. Lyons is nestled at the confluence of the North and South Saint Vrain Creeks and during this event the two combined to be a massive torrent of destructive power. The flood event was so mind boggling, I produced an investigative documentary to scientifically fit the pieces together as to what happened. Should you ever have an hour to spare (ha!), you can view this documentary here:


Understanding the Fundamentals: Colorado’s Epic Flood of 2013, focusing on the Town of Lyons, CO

Documentary Topic Chapters

Music prelude Start: 0 min, 0 sec
Introduction Start: 2 min, 50 sec
Meteorology Start: 6 min, 45 sec
Forecast Models Start: 21 min, 35 sec
Flood Start: 32 min, 36 sec
Climate Attribution Start: 51 min, 21 sec
Tribute Start: 58 min, 41 sec
Credits Start: 1 hr, 58 sec


To say the least, the reconstruction aftermath of this event was daunting, and some areas still haven’t recovered as of today.

So what does the Colorado flood of 2013 have to do with famine in Yemen? Well nothing, except for me personally, in that experience I was a direct recipient of the good will of others. I witnessed first hand the outpouring of support from people and groups coming in and setting up to help us cope and rebuild. They were people that weren’t from here, but from all over the US and abroad. Their hard work and good cheer moved mountains and I understood, perhaps for the first time, why it is short-sighted to only be concerned about my own back yard. Thus as someone who rarely goes hungry, I sincerely empathize with mothers and their babies who do, and believe I am in a position to help. Will you join me? Have a look at the Basketful Relief Project’s beautiful children’s books we have published so far and consider making a purchase. By doing so, in a fun way you will be feeding a young tummy and mind.


What inspired this blog post was seeing this CNN exclusive today, March 11. Here is the link:

Famine is returning to Yemen — and a Saudi fuel blockade stands to make it worse

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