Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blog for Relief Day

In the face of a tragedy like Hurricane Katrina its easy to succumb to the paralysis of insignifance. We ask "“How Can I Help?” and yet we know that nothing we do is adequate to alleviate the pain and suffering. But just because we can't do enough does not relieve us of our duty to do something, however modest it might be, to serve those who need us.

--Joe Carter, The Evangelical Outpost

As you page through your favorite blogs today you'll find that most of them are mentioning Hurricane Katrina and encouraging donations to aid the victims of the devastating storm and floods. There are many ways you can help, but if you want to know where my money's going, it's to the Southern Baptist Relief Fund.

I've chosen this organization because it's staffed entirely by volunteers, meaning that my money won't be spent on salaries and administration, but directly benefit the hurricane victims. Well-organized, carefully trained, and highly effective, the Southern Baptists have been involved in disaster relief for the past 35 years. They'll be sending over 1,000 volunteers in at least 100 mobile Disaster Relief units to the cities ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The Red Cross has asked Southern Baptist volunteers to be ready to serve meals to 300,000 people a day. They'll also be helping with cleanup work.

As Joe Carter says, we'll never be able to do enough for these homeless, heartbroken, terrified people. But we can do something.

There are lots of good relief organizations out there. If you'd like to put in a plug for your favorites, please leave a comment (and give us links).

Glenn Reynolds is compiling a list of bloggers who are posting on this subject today, along with links to the relief organizations they're recommending.

3:15PM EST

Just a few minutes ago, Harlequin Publisher and CEO Donna Hayes e-mailed the Harlequin authors to announce that the company has made a contribution to the American Red Cross and set up a link on to encourage further donations.


Anonymous said...

I agree that EVERYONE MUST DO SOMETHING. Period. A tight budget can still accomodate a small donation. A roomier budget a bigger one. And wealthy folks should just start forking it over big time! Lemme see those overpaid Hollywood celebrities and CEO's of major companies dole out hundreds of millions!

I gave first to the American Red Cross, cause my husband's company matches employee donations, effectively doubling my contribution. And then I headed over to the SBC's NAMB site (which you linked), that I originally read about at Lisa Samson's blog, and made a donation there, cause, hey, they sounded like they were ready and raring and would have angels watching their backs, to boot. :)

So, if you haven't given, give. Give, because I don't see how anyone can see those video images and just NOT give. And this is my country and those are my people. And it's just tragic. And they need help. This is a situation where they can't help themselves.

If we as a people gave billions to 9-11 assistance, this warrants even more, because more lives are directly impacted. And we don't know the death toll yet. It may surpass the WTC count. I hope not, but....gosh. Overwhelms me.

My heart is just really, really heavy.


Robin Bayne said...

I agree, Mir and Brenda. We all must do something. I am participating in the Blogging Awareness Day through "Truth Laid Bear's" site. Thank goodness we have several "safe" agencies to contribute through--without worrying who actually gets the money.

Anonymous said...

In the coming weeks (and months, and even years) so much MORE than money will be needed. Sure, immediately, the most effective thing is to give money to the organizations that are already set up to do the most good. But people, New Orleans is an entirely displaced city of 1.3 (?) million people.

Right now, the concern is safety and health. But once these people are safe...they will need a place to live, they will need clothes, furniture....they will need JOBS.

Some may have survived and have a home that can be repaired...but they may no longer have a job because there is no longer a workplace.

If you can't give money, you (particularly those of us in Texas) have an opportunity to give your time, open your home, cook some meals, loan a vehicle, offer a job. Not just this week...not just this month...there will be a need for a long, long time.

Anonymous said...

Yep. When Andrew hit, people didn't have power for months, their homes basically didn't exist--roofs gone, furniture destroyed, streets flooded. Not like New Orleans, where the flooding is Biblical in its proportions, but yeah. People really had their lives torn up and it was not a quick fix, either.

New Orleans is massive. And frankly, I really think they need to relocate a lot of people--help with transportation, getting housing, getting papers straightened out (cause storms take your papers, your bank numbers, etc), and such. I just don't think it's a good idea to heavily repopulate an area that's below sea level and bounded on all sides by bodies of water. Just the way density has grown in Florida worries me, cause we're hurricane prone. I've lived here now through 4 decades, and I still wouldn't buy property on the oceanside or waterside. It's too risky. And I worry if we have to evacuate, with millions here.

We're gonna have to map out better evacuation plans for all these coastal areas at great risk, and maybe make it mandatory and not voluntary. Seeing piles of dead bodies is motivation to make people HAVE to leave if a monster storm comes, not choose to: have to.

Gosh..I'm still shell-shocked just from pictures!

Brenda Coulter said...

I don't doubt that a number of extremely foolish people could have left the city but chose not to do so. But I also believe there must have been quite a few who had nowhere to go. Without money for motels and without friends or relatives to take them in, what options did they have? Even the ones who had cars might not have had gas money . . . .

Anonymous said...

Yes. Part of civil defense and hurricane preparedness has to be a plan that uses city buses and taxis and trains and trucks and anything else at hand to get people OUT. That would require coordination with neighboring states, but it can be done. It just takes will and a plan. If you tell people to evacuate, you have to make it possible for the poor ones to do so. Still, from my own hurricane experiences, I know that many people always thing, "It's gonna go west or north or south. We'll be fine here. I don't give a d**n what the Mayor says."

Human nature. We always think the other guy will get the brunt.