General Interest > Let's talk about the weather...

Blog from downtown NOLA


Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill it teaches the whole people by example. Crime is contageous. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law, it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
U.S. Justice Brandeis (1856-1941)
--- End quote ---

Veterans For Peace Hurricane Relief Message Board

The grassroots organization Katrina Help Austin is matching up evacuees with host families in Austin, so people who are able to take in evacuees can register online or at 2408 S. 3rd. They're also collecting and disbursing food, clothing, furniture, diapers, toiletries, bicycles, pretty much anything the evacuees might need. The stuff is at 2408 S. 3rd, There's very little red tape, esp. w/the items for giveaway. They also need volunteers for all kinds of jobs.
This is at a small apartment complex just west of S. First and south of Oltorf, next to the San Jose Catholic Church. In fact, the giveaway items are all being moved onto the big field owned by the church. If you have any spare time, you can go over there and volunteer. If you have even a free half hour, they always need help sorting donations. There are also volunteers needed to interview evacuees at the convention center, do data entry and computer work to match up evacuees with host families, set up and facilitate meetings between evacuees and host families, answer phones, transport evacuees, and many other jobs, including being a listening post and mediator for fellow volunteers.
This is the only group matching evacuees with host families. The Red Cross and the City won't do it because of liability issues.
You can check the website to see what donations they need, but some of the things I've noticed we keep running out of or never have enough of are garbage bags, name tags, pens, staplers and staples, big paper clips, and tables. Some big garbage cans would be useful, too. And some clamp-on garage-type lights or electric Coleman lanterns.
They can't accept monetary donations, but they could use gas cards, WalMart or Target cards, and HEB cards to give to evacuee families.
If someone has a massage chair and wants to give massages to volunteers, that would be great--tell your massage therapist friends. Also, if anyone wants to call a restaurant and see if they would donate a meal for 50 people and then go get it and bring it over at lunch or dinner time, that would be great, too. Or see if a grocery store will donate some snack foods with a little protein in them. A lot of people have been working practically round the clock existing on chips and cookies and pizza and pop. Some yogurt, nuts, cheese, juice, fruit, protein drinks, or any other healthy snacks you can think of would be really nice. Tell someone when you take snacks over that these are for staff (which means volunteers--there is no paid staff).
The amount and kind of donations and the army of volunteers and the tents and tables--the whole infrastructure--that have sprung up in one week is really mind-blowing. Don't expect a well-oiled machine running completely smoothly. There are glitches, and things are loose around the edges. But it's worth a trip over there to observe the phenomenon. And the people--the evacuees, the host families, and volunteers--are all amazing. Please forward this message far and wide.

They are also beginning to accept furniture to help people who are beginning to get housing.  Try to imagine starting from nothing ...

Here is a video clip showing the Arabella Station store and some of the people who are scavenging for food to help themselves and others survive. It also shows the condition of the store. This ran on Sunday night's Nightline and again on Monday morning's Good Morning America. You may have to download a video player in order to view the clip.
The following broadcast clip(s) have been made available for you to view. Click on the link below (or cut and paste the URL into your browser):
Subject: Whole Foods Market in New Orleans Flood
Program: Nightline
Airdate: September 4, 2005
Station: ABC
Format: Windows Media ...


[0] Message Index

Go to full version