Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Time To Help

I wasn't going to blog about Katrina because for one thing, I didn't know what to say. And on top of that, blogging seems so trivial during something like this. But I saw the Blog For Relief Day, and I wanted to get something up for that.

Here is a list of charities recommended on the FEMA website.

And seemingly always, there is the Red Cross.

I encourage each of you to do what you are able to help the victims of Katrina. I feel helpless. If you are like me, sending money or donating other items doesn't seem like enough at all. But I am sure that it helps. There are numerous collection points that have been set up in this area to collect food, clothes, and other necessities.

The destruction shown on the news seems almost surreal. But it is all too real. The individual stories that they show are completely heartbreaking. I would guess that few of us could imagine what many of these people are going thru, losing basically everything you have on Earth, losing family members and friends, sometimes helplessly watching them being pulled away from you, or not knowing where someone is or if they are safe. There are those who evacuated, hundreds of miles from their homes, not knowing when they will get to return or what, if anything, they will find when they do. And I don't know why, but seeing these dogs and pets standing on the top of stairways, scared to death, just breaks my heart, too.

My only trip to New Orleans was for Mardi Gras (back in 2001, maybe). I found it to be a very unique city. Lots of history. My visits to Mississippi have mainly been limited to traveling across the state on my way to Memphis. But I did have an uncle who lived in Biloxi for a time. And I have spent a fair amount of time in Mobile and on the beaches of Alabama.

My whole life, I have watched America send money and aid and relief to seemingly every frickin' nation on the face of the Earth. Well now, it is time to help our own. These are our cities, our beaches, our friends, our neighbors, our fellow Americans. We are a part of them. And they are a part of us. It is time to help. Please do what you can.

"All mornin' I'd been thinkin' my life's so hard. And they wore everything they own, livin' in a car. I wanted to tell him it would be OK, but I just got in my Suburban and I drove away. I don't know why they say grown men don't cry..."

12 comments:

  1. You have put into words, very well, how I feel too. The animal stories absolutely kill me. I know people evacuated and left their animals at home. That to me is even harder to listen to than some of the human stories. I never got to New Orleans, even though I'm a cemetery freak and they've got some of the best. It's almost like watching 9/11 footage all over again-that helpless feeling all over again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Once again Bone, your excellent way with words expresses so much feeling. I hate watching the chaos, but I can't stop. I keep waiting for some miracle, but it doesn't seem like one is going to happen. I saw one thing about a boy that got on the bus, and they wouldn't let his dog on, and the dog just stood and looked at the closed doors until a cop picked it up and carried it away. That made me cry.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If I couldn't take my animals, I wouldn't be getting on the bus! I saw a story about a woman that abandoned 7, yes I said SEVEN children all under the age of 5. Another woman has been taking care of them. The National Guard took the children from her and even they were crying. It is amazing the horrible things humans will do to one another and other living things in a time of crisis.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well said! You've put into words what I've been thinking but couldn't organize coherently.

    Thank you for saying it and posting the links for relief.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bone
    I will read anything that you write

    Individually I think we all too shocked, and feel too trivial to make an impact

    But as a community of bloggers, American and citizens of the world, we can make a difference. I hope that anyway

    ReplyDelete
  6. I set up a drive here at work to collect ANYTHING that people don't care to keep in their homes anymore. Think about it - these people have lost EVERYTHING THEY OWN. Their DVDs, knick knacks, dishes, toiletries, clothes... EVERYTHING. Anything you give helps!

    And, oooo... the pets break my heart, too. For some reason it's easier for me to see humans suffer than animals. But I'm just a softy like that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I hate to admit it, but I too have a hard time dealing with the animals. I think that humans tend to have some choice in matters, but the animals dont. I also think that a lot of animals were most likely either shut up in a house, a pen, tied on a chain, most couldn't help themselves if they needed too. It is horrible and I just had to shut off the tv the other day. I still haven't heard from my son and after the stress of the other being in Iraq, well, seems too much. I did enjoy the post very much. Lots of prayers needed right now.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I haven't been able to take my eyes off the news all week. I finally lost it when I read that they weren't letting people, who'd lost everything else in the world, take their pets on the evacuation buses with them. I finally found that the Humane Society of the United States is sending animal rescue teams to the affected areas to try and save as many pets and other animals as they can. Although I've already donated to disaster relief funds directed towards people, I decided I could afford to donate to the Humane Society as well. The link is:

    https://secure.hsus.org/01/disaster_relief_fund_2005?source=drfhb4

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bone, your sensitivity and the sensitivity of each of your readers is heartwarming and touching. May God bless each of you real good!

    I live in Houston and there’s not a day that has gone by that I haven’t broken down and wept as I watched the ongoing stories on TV. Although my life was physically untouched by the storm, my heart grieves for the refugees. Emotionally, I’ve never been able to tolerate seeing people or animals hurt.

    In the last few days, the most frustrating thing for Houstonians has been not being able to get things distributed to the refugees quickly enough. I am not pointing an accusatory finger at anyone or any agency in this regard. It simply takes time to implement and structure such a massive relief initiative. For it to work, and continue to work until recovery is fully realized, it has to have structure. That infrastructure is now in place.

    The refugee children will be starting school right away, everyone’s health needs are starting to flow into our medical system and to be addressed with undaunting diligence by doctors and nurses. Reliant Arena Convention Center is serving as a staging area for refugees who are still arriving from Louisiana. I say staging area because after an intake interview there, many of them will be sent to other cities who are offering hospitality.

    This morning, I was thrilled to hear that the U.S. Post Office has given the Astrodome its own zip code. As I understand it, some sort of mail service is being setup. That would be really cool if they could start getting mail!

    They will need our prayers, support and love for a long time to come.

    So, now I’m off to deliver dog food to the Houston humane society. We are also hosting many of the pet refugees. I better not start talking about that, though.

    God bless.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the link, Kerry. I'm adding it to my sidebar.

    Clearly, there are many who need help, and therefore many ways to help.

    Thank you all for the thoughts and comments.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks anonymous for that insight. Thanks for doing what you are doing to help!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yes, thank you. To everyone who is doing anything, and especially to those who are there in the disaster area, trying to help in whatever capacity.

    ReplyDelete