Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Katrina


I've visited New Orleans several times and have such affection for Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, oysters & Turbodog, street musicians. My friends Spike & Marty live in the neighborhood where the trolleys go to rest at night. I can't get ahold of them.

Just a few short blocks from where they live (lived) is shantytown. These are tiny corrugated tin and cardboard houses with dirt floors, held together with duct tape and a rusty nail or two. The city stopped repairing their roads long ago since very few cars roam the streets. For these folks, food stamps are the difference between life and death. I cannot imagine what they are going through right now.

I listened to Air America this morning as caller after caller explained the horrifying conditions of their beloved towns, not knowing if their families had made it out, some having lost their pets, their jobs, their homes. My heart goes out to them.

I contributed money to Red Cross and still I feel impotent, useless. It's not enough. It's not even a drop in the bucket. I know an untrained, unskilled emergency worker like me would just get in the way, but still I fight the urge to pack a bag and drive east.

I heard refugees are pouring into Austin's Tony Berger Center and local hospitals are gearing up to help. This makes me feel better; even if I don't have what it takes to volunteer, I know there are people here who can do this kind of work in their sleep, and often do. I want to be one of them. Someday soon, I will be.

Please consider giving money to Red Cross. What our southern neighbors need most of all is shelter, a toilet that works and potable water. Red Cross is equipped to provide these services on a limited basis. With your help, they can go the extra mile. Thank you.

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