Skip to comments.Letters from a FReeper - Americans head out to help family, friends and strangers hurt by Katrina
Posted on 08/31/2005 11:02:14 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Letters from a FReeper:
6:20:54 AM EDT My good neighbor just let me know her mom and dad are alive in rural Mississippi. She and here husband said it took days before they could reach her mom by cell and that was a miracle. They are heading up there with a camper, generator and much needed suppplies. They are unsure how they will reach them because of the unknown rural road situation. I am sending boxes of dry goods, can goods, sheets and towels, soap ect... and much needed water and gatorade. I am asking them to somehow find their parish or local church this weekend so that I might have a good address to send more help and supplies. God knows, we went through three hurricanes last year, but all category 2 or less.
8:11:32 AM EDT I am sure there will be a lot of movement to help. I feel better knowing that relief this way will be immediate, not that the usual reputable charities won't be a good source. Thanks for the links, although my friends are heading to Mississippi, the same interstate highways will be used. They know the area well and are quite resourcefull. They both lived in the camper for over 6 months in our neighborhood while they completely rebuilt their home. (Some of the snobs here complained belive it or not). Two large elm trees fell on their home. Anyway, this is now day three without power and potable water. There is only so far you can go with these kind of conditions. I'll keep you posted.
12:45:08 PM EDT I just got back from the supply stores. Friends are leaving around midnight tonight. The problem with e-mail from MS is unknown. Friend's spouse is an architect so they are bringing the laptop. As far as my address, I will gladly link to a thread when there is more to report. At this time, water, gatorade, first-aide kit, fresh towels, soap, toiletries, mega food items (non-parishable) childrens motrin, fresh sheets and anything they can fit in the camper are going tonight. Thank you for your support. This is a treck I wish I could make, but I am doing what I can a this point. (young daughter in schoool) I am sure a few of us or many could make a great difference in the quality of life for many. You would not believe what a cup of coffee can do or a can soup will do after dredging in the heat all day! I remember last summer here in Florida (after 3 hurricanes). The heat and disparity can be unbearable.
Thank you Cin. I will let you know more when I do. May God bless those in NO, MS and AL. (pls pardon my spelling)
Poobear said she would post information as she receives it from her friends on their mission of mercy.
If you have stories of hope and/or about the American spirit, please post them.
I know Americans all over the country are starting to formulate ideas, large and small, to help fellow Americans who are suffering.
I've read many examples in the posts here on FR.
Dispite what the msm would have you believe, everyone is not looting.
Reuters Survivors of Hurricane Katrina line up at a drug store to buy supplies in Biloxi, Miss., today. Mississippi Power says it will take weeks to restore electricity to the region.
Keep us informed Poobear.
BIG promise! Thanks. LA, MS & AL will be grateful too!
New Orleans family finds refuge from Katrina in Katy, fire station
Katy area businesses, firefighters and residents are opening their hearts, wallets and even floor space to help five generations of a large family that fled from hurricane-wracked New Orleans.
Most of the 88 family members have ended up in the Westlake Volunteer Fire Department on Saums Road.
They were trying to escape from Hurricane Katrina, the Category 4 storm that slammed into the Louisiana coastline early Monday.
They drove west, but after failing to find motel rooms, they started trickling into the home of Bryan and Tequilla Taylor, who just last year moved from New Orleans to Lakecrest, near Franz and Katy-Fort Bend roads.
Bryan's parents, a brother and a great uncle were the first to arrive late Sunday night after an exhausting 15-hour drive.
"It took them five hours just to get out of Louisiana," Tequilla Taylor said. "It took four hours just to get to Baton Rouge."
A stream quickly turned into a flood of relatives, ranging in ages from three months to 79 years, more than the four-bedroom home could hold.
"We're the only ones who live out of town, they had nowhere to go but here," Tequilla Taylor said.
So, she called the Westlake Volunteer Fire Department on Saums Road for help. Tequilla said Fire Chief Mark Palmer went out of his way to help.
"He said, 'Don't worry about anything, we're going to take care of this for you,' " she said.
About 63 of the relatives are now camped out on the fire station's floor.
But another 25, including two elderly relatives, are staying with Bryan and Tequilla.
Palmer said that some other families besides the Taylor clan have since arrived and the station is currently housing about 90 people.
He said they aren't going to turn anyone away, but he's also had to call for help.
The West I-10 police station has agreed to take up to 80 people and some local churches have agreed to pitch in.
Bryan's mother, Alma, whose home in east New Orleans is now under water, said the extended family loaded up in 11 cars and headed west, just before authorities called for a mandatory evacuation.
"We knew where we were going over here," she said. "some of them got lost, but we managed to get them here."
Unfortunately not all the family members were so lucky. Some stayed behind, Alma Taylor said.
"That's our worry right now, some of them are left behind, they're stranded," she said. "We can't get in touch with them. We're just sitting on pins and needles, trying to pray and hope that they're safe."
She said some of the family didn't have transportation or enough money to leave while others thought they would ride out the storm, as they had done before.
Tequilla Taylor said one brother-in-law, his wife, and two of his children started for Katy but grew weary of sitting for 12 hours in traffic.
``He turned around and went back home. We haven't heard from them,'' she said. ``We don't know where they are, if they're still alive or what.''
She said their home was shown on television and everything but the roof was under water. ``They're presumed dead,'' Tequilla said. ``Why didn't he just leave with everybody else?''
When the family members first arrived in Katy, Alma Taylor said they expected to stay for about three days and so brought just a few clothes.
Now it appears that they'll be here for at least a month.
Tequilla said the stranded relatives are trying to decide what to do.
"They have no money, they have no clothes, they have nothing," she said. Some are hoping they can temporarily enroll their children in school.
"They're trying to make the best of a bad situation," she said. "We're coping pretty well because we're used to being together."
So is the Westlake fire department. Palmer said firefighters have been given different assignments, including making sure the kids are occupied.
A bus load of some 50 displaced family members went to the Comets basketball game Tuesday night, he said.
And Mayde Creek High School offered to let them attend the Friday night football came at their stadium.
"Prayers are being answered," Palmer said.
However, food and sleeping accommodations are two big challenges.
The firefighters gave up their beds at the station and Academy Sports and Outdoors donated 60 cots. They also have air mattresses, couches and Palmer's personal camper, which will sleep six to eight people.
"The space is limited but we'll fill every crack, anything we need to do, we'll take care of it," he said.
So far most of the food has been donated, with the food for Tuesday's dinner provided by HEB grocery store. Employees from Good Ol' Boys restaurant cooked everyone a Cajun catfish dinner.
"I think we have the next four days meals provided," Palmer said. "It's just been awesome what these people are doing."
Still, there are many unmet needs such as gasoline vouchers and nonprescription medications. A local doctor has offered his services and Walgreen's will fill necessary prescriptions.
Palmer said anyone wanting to donate or help should call either 281-492-0560 or 281-492-0020.
[LINKS at address above to more stories, photos, services and video]
Tell them we're praying for them.
Americans Contribute Millions for Relief
WASHINGTON - Americans are pouring in millions of dollars in donations for disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, rescue organizations said Wednesday.
The Red Cross said it had so far raised $21 million, a figure comparable to the response for tsunami victims following the devastation in Asia earlier this year. Nearly $15 million of that has come from individual donations through its Web site, with the rest representing corporate contributions.
"The outpouring of support has been amazing," said Kara Bunte, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, which has set up hundreds of shelters for hurricane victims.
"People are now starting to see the images on TV and want to help," she said.
Catholic Charities USA, based in Alexandria, Va., said it has received hundreds of calls in the last few days from volunteers asking how they can help. The group has raised $15,000 through its Web site, but will be stepping up collection efforts at churches in the coming days.
"The response is right up there with the calls we had after 9-11," said spokeswoman Shelley Borysiewicz. "The American public is quite generous and they will rise to the occasion."
On the Net:
Red Cross: 1-800-HELP-NOW or https://http://www.redcross.org
Catholic Charities: 1-800-919-9338 or http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org
The Salvation Army secure online donation system
2. To donate by check please mail your donation to:
The Salvation Army National Headquarters
P.O. Box 269
Alexandria, VA 22313
3. To donate by phone:
The USNS Comfort sits docked Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005, in Baltimore. The hospital ship is preparing to leave Baltimore and sail south to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Baltimore-based ship is part of the Navy's Military Sealift The Comfort is expected to be part of what many say is the largest domestic disaster relief effort in years. The military is mainly providing search and rescue, medical help and supplies to the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.Command. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Members of the MO/TN Incident Response Teams Urban Search and Rescue teams and local officials help evacuate people trapped in their flooded homes by Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 30, 2005. Floodwaters engulfed much of New Orleans on Tuesday as officials feared a steep death toll and planned to evacuate thousands remaining in shelters after the historic city's defenses were breached by Hurricane Katrina. (Vincent Laforet/Pool/Reuters)
NSTAR trucks leave for Birmingham, Ala., from NSTAR facility in Westwood, Mass., Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005. NSTAR crews from Massachusetts area are scheduled to arrive in Birmingham on Friday to help restore power, re-build electric infrastructure, and provide other aid in areas hit hardest by the hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)
Rescue personnel help a woman out of a boat after she was rescued from floodwaters in New Orleans, Louisiana. Floodwaters continued to rise in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina broke two levees separating the city from Lake Pontchartrain(AFP/James Nielsen)
Friends and neighbors help Evelyn Turner, second from right, load the body of her common-law husband, Xavier Bowie, onto a flatbed truck after he died in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Xavier and Turner had decided to ride out Hurricane Katrina when they could not find away to leave the city. Xavier, who had lung cancer, died when he ran out of oxygen Tuesday afternoon. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Gulfport Miss. Police Officer Terrence Gray, right, helps evacuate Lovie Mae Allen and group of children from their flooded homes after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast Monday, Aug. 29, 2005 in Gulfport, Miss. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Texas to Louisiana, which has a hospital and six helicopters on board to conduct emergency medical evacuations. The US military has joined the massive effort to help the devastated New Orleans region in the wake of ferocious Hurricane Katrina, dispatching ships, helicopters, engineers and other specialists to help survivors, the Northern Command (NorthCom) said.(AFP/HO-US Navy/File)
Minnesotans heading south to help Katrina's victims
Red Cross Volunteer Hildred Dungan was on her way to the State Fair this morning, when she got the call. Her schedule was changing courtesy of hurricane Katrina.
"I think we're going to be doing mass care, going out and feeding people that have no place to eat, because their homes have been ruined or damaged or something," said Dungan.
Hildred will be co-piloting the ERV, the Minneapolis Red Cross emergency response vehicle. She'll be traveling with Carol Cantwell, a veteran of many hurricanes.
"This one might be the worse one," said Cantwell.
As the volunteers got the ERV ready for a trip to a staging area in Alabama, Carol had some advice for Hildred, a hurricane rookie.
"Probably patience is the biggest thing. Well you just don't organize something like this in five minutes. Sometimes we get to a place and have to wait awhile to know where we're going and so forth," said Cantwell.
While the world watches images of the monster storm as it swirls across the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans, a North Memorial paramedic feels lucky that he escaped Katrina's wrath.
"I said I'm a paramedic and I'm driving north. Who wants to go," said Dave Long who was in New Orleans for an EMS convention. He found flying out was impossible, so he grabbed one of the last rental cars and six strangers and headed out.
"It was bumper-to-bumper, only about zero to five miles an hour, it took us five hours to get to Baton Rouge to drop-off our first person, which is normally only about an hour and a half drive.
After dropping off one passenger in Baton Rouge, Dave spent the rest of the day making it to Shreveport, where he caught a plane home Monday morning.
"The hard part was trying to find a bathroom. Every place seemed to be closed," said Long
So while some are relieved to escape disaster, others are hitting the road and heading right for it.
Once we heard about the total devastation of hurricane Katrina, www.officialbrettfavre.com teamed up with the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation to send aid to Mississippi. We have already begun shipping supplies out to Mississippi via a prop jet donated by Wisconsin Aviation. Sunday morning, September 4, a jet is planned to leave with necessities for the hurricane victims. Brett and Deanna Favre have decided to start taking donations on Bretts official website, http://www.officialbrettfavre.com/, to aid the hurricane victims. You can now donate to the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation through the store on the website. One hundred percent of all donations go straight to the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation. Deanna Favre, the president of the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation, will disperse the funds and items to the appropriate organizations aiding hurricane victims in Mississippi.
Here are some guidelines if you plan on donating an item.
- Item must be new
- No food or water items
- Some things that will be needed
- Hand saws
- Work gloves
- Work boots
- Rope, Chains
- First Aid kits
- Anti-Bacterial hand wash
We need items to aid in the clean-up process. If you would like to donate items to aid the hurricane victims, you can drop them off at one of the following locations:
Brett Favres Steakhouse
1004 Brett Favre Pass
Green Bay, WI 54304
3606 Corben court
Madison, Wisconsin 53704
All items donated will be flown down to Mississippi Sunday, September 4, and personally presented to Brett and Deanna Favre. All items or donations will recieve a reciept from the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation in the mail. When dropping an item off, make sure you leave your name, address, and the cost of the item. When donating through the website, make sure all the information you submit is correct. If you can't donate anything, we just ask that you keep all of the hurricane victims in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you in advance for your support!
To Donate through the online store:
Please enter the coupon code, Hurricane, under your credit card information and hit redeem so you do not get charged for shipping.
I would recommend a water purifier as well.
That's great news.
I hope companies with life sustaining equipment will donate it or sell at cost.
Capital area rescuers head south on hurricane relief mission
By LAUREN FRAYER
Associated Press Writer
Published August 30, 2005
FAIRFAX, Va. -- With hugs from their families--and about 1,000 pounds of gear each--members of the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team headed south Tuesday to help after Hurricane Katrina.
They left carrying medical supplies, generators and infrared cameras to detect bodies under rubble.
I feel like crying. Tears are forming in my eyes as I type. Thank God someone cares.
Whole Foods Market is offering its customers the opportunity to donate money to the American Red Cross hurricane relief effort. Customers can choose either a $2 or $5 donation coupon. The donation will be added to their transaction and the proceeds will go entirely to relief efforts.
Many of us have seen the images from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and want to help, said Whole Foods Market Midwest Regional President Patrick Bradley.
Donations can be made at:
Whole Foods Market Madison
3313 University Ave.
Donations to help with Katrinas aftermath are being accepted at the local Red Cross chapter or by visiting www.sqvalleyredcross.org or www.redcross.org.
For information on how to help Mennonite Disaster Service, call 859-2210.
Other organizations are seeking cash donations to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina, but volunteers should not report directly to the affected areas unless directed by a voluntary agency.
Cash donations are especially helpful to the victims, federal officials said, and also allow agencies to avoid the labor-intensive need to store, sort, pack and distribute donated goods.
And as of today, just a little more than 48 hours after Katrina first pounded the Gulf Coast, a wide range of agencies are accepting donations from individuals who want to help.
Heres a list of organizations that are planning to help, and where to donate:
_ The Salvation Armys Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Division is preparing to deploy response teams as early as this week to help with providing food, along with spiritual counseling in the disasters aftermath.
It has 300 trained disaster response volunteers at the ready.
For more information, call (800) SALARMY or visit www.salvationarmyusa.org.
_ The United Way here is accepting donations to support response efforts of United Way chapters in Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.
Checks are being accepted at United Way of Lancaster County, 630 Janet Ave., Lancaster, PA, 17601. Checks should reference United Way Hurricane Katrina Response Fund.
For more on relief efforts at the local United Way, call 394-0731.
Other places to send financial donations include:
Operation Blessing, 1-800-436-6348.
Americas Second Harvest, 1-800-344-8070.
Adventist Community Services, 1-800-381-7171.
Catholic Charities USA, 703-549-1390.
Christian Disaster Response, 941-956-5183 or 941-551-9554.
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, 1-800-848-5818.
Church World Service, 1-800-297-1516.
Convoy of Hope, 417-823-8998.
Lutheran Disaster Response, 800-638-3522.
Nazarene Disaster Response, 888-256-5886.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, 800-872-3283.
Southern Baptist Convention, Disaster Relief, 1-800-462-8657, ext. 6440.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief, 1-800-554-8583.
Also, anyone interested can visit the Web site for the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) at www.nvoad.org.
Also, Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers from Lebanon County will be among those helping Katrina victims along the Gulf Coast in the coming weeks.
Six guardsmen packed up and headed out Tuesday from Fort Indiantown Gap, just north of Lancaster County.
The soldiers are part of a specialized communications unit and will set up a mobile command center for emergency crews in Mississippi, where they can provide phone, computer and radio lines.
The soldiers are prepared to work 24 hours a day for at least two weeks.
Mary Ellen Kennedy of Manheim Township was watching the TV news Tuesday night, recalling when the power was out at her Manheim Township home for several days last summer.
It really hit me, how little (our trouble) was compared to what the people down there have to go through, she said. Thats just a blip compared to what theyre facing.
............''We have an American refugee situation on our hands,'' said Laura Howe, a Red Cross spokeswoman who was working in Birmingham, Ala. ``We have a mass migration of people who are homeless. It is an incredible thing to see and experience, and I don't think any of us in our lifetimes ever thought we would see anything like this.''
The need for shelter alone threatened to overwhelm the relief effort. Emergency housing facilities in the three states directly in Katrina's path, as well as shelters as far away as Memphis and Dallas, were already at or near capacity, Howe said, with more people arriving by the hour. Thousands who evacuated early and moved to hotels outside the storm area are now descending on the public shelters because they have run out of money. Thousands more who tried to ride out the hurricane are also seeking shelter.
''We have a new wave of evacuees coming out simply because they're homeless, they have nowhere else to go,'' Howe said.
Ordinarily, she said, Red Cross shelters begin to empty out within a matter of days after a natural disaster strikes, but that may not be true this time. ``We expect to have people in these shelters for quite some time -- for weeks.''
Meantime, the Salvation Army was distributing an estimated 150,000 meals a day from locations in Mobile; Jackson, Miss.; and Baton Rouge, La., along with another 120,000 meals a day dispensed from six mobile kitchens on 54-foot semitrailers, according to Salvation Army official Mark Jones.
Jones, who lived through four hurricanes in Florida, said he had never seen anything like the destruction of Katrina. ''It's catastrophic,'' he said..............