A Cautious Man
September 08, 2005
 
Shelter From The Storm
It's really overwhelming, isn't it? There is so much that is needed, and will be needed, by the people victimized by Hurrican Katrina. Like you (since you are reading this because you're on the internet) I've been stunned by the contrast, between (on the one hand) the sheer incompetence, or negligence, or callousness, which has contributed to the suffering, and (on the other hand) the heroic efforts made by individuals who stepped in to help their fellow human beings.

There will be enough to talk about regarding this disaster, those who contributed to or alleviated the suffering, and those who will try to use this (for good or ill) to advance a cause they believe in. But, for now, the only important thing is to contribute in some way, to help those who bore the brunt of this catastrophe.

There are so many ways to help, which is probably a testament to the good hearts of Americans. In addition to whatever ways to help you may find in your community, in your profession, or wherever -

The American Red Cross - That's a no-brainer.

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) - Seems to be a good clearing-house for legitimate charities providing aid in these circumstances, which was recommended by FEMA, at least until it changed its webpage (after the list with Pat Robertson's charity near the top, but before stressing the more military-minded USA Freedom Corps) - Pick a charity from NVOAD's list, and you probably can't go wrong.

One of the charities in NVOAD, which has a lot of connections in the affected areas - Catholic Charities USA

And, what the heck, the two ex-presidents' Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund

A little more out-of-the-way, but still worthwhile - the Jazz Foundation of America's Fund for New Orleans Musicians. As they point out on their webpage -
We will be addressing the longer term needs of these jazz and blues artists who will have just lost everything.

We will be raising funds and distributing money for the musicians to get a new apartment or room for rent: by giving a first month's rent, possibly more, for them to start over, a place to live. ...

As well, we will be attempting to help New Orleans musicians by replacing the thing that matters most and the only way they can ever work again: their instruments.
To those who lost their instruments, like drummers and bassists who could not carry their heavy equipment, and guitarist with their amps, we will be making an effort to work with manufacturers and music stores to replace those instruments for as many as we possibly can.

Remember, New Orleans was only "New Orleans" because of the musicians...
And, finally, you can contribute to disaster relief by purchasing one of these t-shirts, from a fellow from my locality. They feature some choice quotes, including "Brownie, you're doing a great job" and "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees".

But, however you contribute, in whatever way, it's needed, and every bit helps.

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