Ideas on assisting in the relief effort without going in person. Much can be done without leaving your house. Give those affected by disaster some hope, and use some of these ideas to help them.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

January February 08 Updates

2/13 Since we're so close to St Valentine's Day, I figured I'd write in red. Is it my color?
Well, a few things I've been trying to accomplish for 2 years is finally starting to occur. Vegetable gardens! A few of us dubbed them Recovery Gardens after the WWII Victory Garden. Anyway, a friend in VA and her Master Gardener's club collected over 100 packets of seeds to send to my families (5) and any organizations I have (2).

Then, I wrote to a few other people, and a friend of one of the orgs up here in NY is donating to the cause. Woo! Her website - http://www.seedsforpeace.net/. I like the site - very direct! Very simple. No trying to figure out what page you want. Nice!

Anyway, she's going to be helping 1 family in Kiln that has pledged to use as much of their property as possible to growing veggies for the community. It's a family that has received virtually NO assistance, can't afford their insurance anymore, and yet is willing to do this for their neighbors. WOW.

If you'd like to help out, either donate to SFP directly, or contact me and I'll help direct you.

So then, I forwarded a msg from the Renaissance Garden Project in Biloxi MS to my Master Gardener friend in VA about their efforts to give out bulbs, seeds, and plants to people in an effort to get some GREEN growing again. You have to realize the tree death alone would fill a forest the size of the state of Maine. That's 33, 215 square miles of trees. Add the shrubs, green spaces, and cultivated gardens and there is still virtually no green all along The Storm's path.

She sent that email to her group and they are starting to snoop around to find more to send. WOW. How cool is that?!

This is just such a fantastic moment. Thank you to everyone.

2/1 Hey gang. A few people in my community have taken the recovery effort under their wing and are giving me stuff to send to my families and organizations. It's great!

I just got about $15 worth of labels and boxtops for education ready to send to the BWSD in Bay St Louis, MS. I send 1 of those envelopes about every quarter, so it's got to help some.

Also just got 4 bags of clothes. Have washed them and will sort them tonight to send out to a couple of families.

The magazine drive is just successful enough. LOL - I'll be able to send magazines to about 5 families every month for at least 8 months now. Hopefully, will be able to make it a full year or more, but we'll see. At least this way the kids will have something to look forward to every month, AND be educational without them really knowing it. To me, that's the real plus.
Found out my mom needs renal stents. The arteries to her kidneys are only 40% open. They generally do surgery when they're 60% open because the kidneys need full flow to detox the body properly. I'm hoping they schedule the surgery soon. My family isn't good at the waiting game. Me in particular.

So, this means I'm back on full house duty. I have to take care of the entire thing again. She had taken over a little, but it's been decreasing substantially in the last month. She'll help very little now, which I understand, but doesn't make it easier for me.

This also means I'll have to cut back on this again. I was starting to become more active again, coming back slowly rather than just jumping right back in. But, as it stands now, it'll be another month before I can start back up.

I'll still be sending boxes and such, just not any activity on the blogs. I'll try to post information, but I don't know how much will be able to be posted.


1/25/08 Sorry it has taken so long. Been working on another quilt for pay. Speaking of which, I haven't posted the pictures of the quilt for the March of Dimes fundraiser in Biloxi. They are working toward starting a mobile prenatal unit to better serve those who still don't have access to transportation - and there are so many in that position!
It's a lap quilt with a fleece back. The center medallion is from a 200 y.o. Baltimore Album Quilt with the true spirit of the BAQ style of many different fabrics. There are no two fabrics that are the same within it, including the whites of the birds.

The fleece back shows the quilting very well, keeps the quilt much lighter.
The block framing the medallion is called "Hands All Around", which was designed around 1900 for fundraising purposes. Again, no fabric was used twice. The fabrics were from MS, NY, MD, KY, Australia, and England.

I've also been able to send magazines to 6 families - woo! Thank you to all!

I have sent seeds for a small basic garden to 4 families and would love to assist more, should anyone wish to help in the area. I've asked the schools if they'd like to start "Recovery Gardens", but they just don't have the space yet, with FEMA trailers still surrounding. I am yet again hoping for community gardens, but don't have the time to put into talking churches and volunteer centers into it. Sad, but true.

My mom is getting ready for some stents - more angioplasty. This time of her renal arteries - kidneys. Those areteries are almost completely shut off, so this is somewhat important to sustaining life. The final testing is this coming week, and then scheduling of the angio. They may end up doing one for her right arm, carotids and her legs, but that's what this next test is for - how many more arteries are affected?

My wonderful friend of a reporter posted in our paper that I am collecting magazines. Oop! Eep, even! I wasn't expecting THAT.

The response has been positive, but not overwhelming, for which I am thrilled! A local chain eatery - Old Country Buffet is generously offering to be a drop-off location for the magazines. That makes it much easier to collect than having my father go door to door of people who've emailed me saying they'd love to donate their magazines.

So - right now, I will be able to give 3 families (13 kids) at least 3 different magazines on a monthly basis for the next 6 months. And that's just what's up in my bedroom. That isn't counting the folks who've stated they'll continue giving me their old magazines.

It's such a simple thing. Not profound in a visible way, but with profound potential. How many kids will have their imaginations sparked by this? How many will raise their grades enough to get scholarship or even just accepted to college? How many kids will decide on a career through this? It means THAT much.

I may not be able to directly stop the cycle of this disaster, but I just might be able to stop it for a bunch of kids. The future. The future is HOPE.

Friday, February 01, 2008

November December 07 Updates

12/31/07 Hey gang. I have a new picture! Now all I have to do is get it put up. LOL That'll only take another month or so.

Am feeling better, so am tickled about that.

Had a third article in our local paper this year about the blogs - woo! If it keeps the word out there that people still need help, then I'm all for it. Otherwise, just let me do my work and don't take any pictures!

Am starting 2 new drives.
#1 - magazines. If you have any magazines that you don't keep, but throw out or recycle, please consider sending them to a Katrina Family. It helps the kids with school (like a whole letter grade), it gives everyone in the family something to look forward to, and allows them to have a sense of normalcy that they most likely still can't afford on their own.
#2 - gardens. Yup, trying again. I'll keep trying until I get it right! I've ordered seeds for 1 family to have veggies throughout the year. They have access to soil, compost, containers (for raised bed/container gardening) and a real need for fresh produce. It's just financially out of reach for them, so am giving them enough seeds to do prolonged plantings to keep a steady supply of as many veggies as possible. Since there's no freezer to store for winter, we'll just have to settle for the other 9-10 months.
This too, will help the children stay healthier, allow them time to heal through gardening, teach them more life skills and save the family a huge expense.
If you want to help with either project, let me know. I could use the help!
Contact me at KatrinaCoalition @ aol.com
Thanks! Leslie

12/24/07 I've been laid up again. Hate that! I've been feeling like crap since the beginning of this month. It's time it stopped.

All of the families getting boxes have gotten them. I just heard from 1 family where all of the clothes I sent fit! Considering it was for 4 different girls, I was pretty excited. I don't always get that right.

I've sent out a request to my family and friends that if they don't otherwise recycle their magazines, to please contact me and I'll send them down to any number of families. It helps the kids with their grades SO much - particularly National Geographic. And something so simple that will help raise the potential of their future is so important.

If you'd like to help, let me know. There are many ways to reuse your magazines in your area, but we can also find ways to have you send them to a family. email me! It's Christmas. I'm dizzy. Life sucks along those lines. But the number of people who's hope is raised this season really makes it far more bearable.

Love to all. L

12/1 The difference a day makes! Woo! I had contacted a guy through our paper about some stuffed animals. I got those and much more! Clothes! Girls's clothes! So I've spent the afternoon and evening washing, ironing and sorting them. Only 3 of the pieces have small stains - the rest are pristine! I have about 8 girls on my list who can benefit, and all will get at least one new outfit. I am so excited! Plus, someone had made a baby blanket, but hadn't put any batting in - so I ripped the seams out and will quilt it up tomorrow to go with a couple of other baby things for one of the families. I don't know which one yet, but one of them! So right now, with the temperature hovering around 14 outside, 80 inside (woodstove my Dad stoked to the hilt), my livingroom is filled with Christmas Future! L

11/27 Much has been done in the last month. ...I have another update post specifically for holiday work
I've just sent out 20 letters to different churches in my radius of ability to travel. The first year I sent them out, I got a fairly large response. Last year I didn't get any response, but I worded it entirely differently. This year, with 2 articles in the paper regarding my work and wording it like the first year, I'm hoping to get a larger response again. Keep your fingers crossed.

I still have much to do on the blogs in the next few days for the holiday effort, but am making progress. I got a great deal done last night, and hope to do the same today.

Life has settled down, but hasn't, all at the same time. It remains fully overwhelming. While my mother's condition improves, issues continue to show themselves. Today she goes for an ultrasound of her arms because she has NO pulse in one arm and too high of a pulse in the other. Something is blocking the one and making the rest of the body suffer because of it.

She's also decided the diningroom floor we got her last Christmas must be installed before this Christmas. Talk about adding a little bit of effort to my growing list of work!

Dad is only so-so. His arthritis continues to worsen - as does his eating. His sugar is also getting very bad, and his cholesterol is out of sight, which never used to be. His salt intake makes him go into mild Congestive Heart Failure, but he thinks it's the arthritis that makes his feet swell so. Mmhmmm. So - he's heading for a stroke. He changed his eating habits for an entire month. But that's as long as he was able to manage, and is back to eating badly.

After Mom's heart attack April 1 - how appropriate! - she decided it was time to try to ensure my livelihood after she dies. Right now, I'm supported by them. All summer was spent building a workroom to put a long-arm quilter in. If you want to see pictures of that little project, go here That was a very high priority for her, but we're still not finished with the interior and I have yet to practise on the thing, which makes me very frustrated!

However, all of my research alone saved her over 8G, and my labor saved another 6. It got me back into shape! But it also kept me fully overwhelmed for the entire summer - and the autumn so far.

My autumn vertigo is in full force. The level of symptoms increases substantially, making daily life very difficult. I try to get work done around the house, but it's a struggle.

Am hoping to write to our 2 local TV news shows to get more coverage on the need for items for the Gulf. We'll see. And that's it for now.

It's enough for me! L

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Monday, December 31, 2007


Why We Need To Rebuild

Updates From Leslie
January and February ('06)
1/29 December
1/29 January '07
February '07

Ways To Help
Supporting Gulf Fishermen
Starting To Help From Home
2/8 Collect Boxtops For Education
Collect Labels For Education
Children's Program - Art Felt Creations

Letters To Write
Helping Pets
Animal Crisis - Supply and Volunteer Request
Animal Shelter Assistance Request

Holiday Time Request Letters
To Churches
To Companies, Universities, Hospitals, etc.
Lagniappe Day (Boxing Day)

Police Departments
Letter to Police Departments
Letter For Police PBA's

Requesting Volunteers
2/23 Getting Gardeners Involved
Letter Requesting Medical Volunteers
Letter To Get School Teachers To Volunteer Over Summer
Letter For Medical Personnel To Assist
Letter To Culinary Colleges For Staff and Students To Assist
Letter To Local Colleges To Volunteer

The Need For Heat
Letter To Assist Gulf Fisherman
Price Gouging Letter To States' Attorneys General
Letter To The Editor Suggesting Ways to Help

Financing The Volunteers
2/9 Getting Transportation for Materials
Major Airline Letter For Discounts To Volunteers
Campmor Letter For Discounts To Volunteers (may be sent to other camping stores)
Tax Write-Off Request To State And Federal Officials

2/16 Utilizing NonViolent Offenders For Recovery
1/29 Educate Your Volunteers on Infectious Diseases
Request For Rummage Sale Leftovers For MS
Letter To Local Habitat Restore

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

April-June Updates From Leslie

6/6 - at least I think that's the date. Oy. Anyway, I'm trying to take a few moments every time I'm at the computer to update 1 or 2 things. It's going to take a while to get caught up, but I'm down to 121 emails, so I'm psyched!
Val, in Biloxi, is doing the great service of checking all of the sidebar links to make sure they are right - and am first fixing any on the Networking site and will correct all once she's through them all.
So - I just might be back. Not nearly to the extent I was or that I want, but I'll get there yet!

Hey there.
I can't believe it's been nearly 2 months since I have been able to actively work on the relief sites. It's truly breaking my heart.
I've changed the index pages so they better reflect the timeless nature of the information held within it's referenced links, but it still bothers me that I just don't have the time or energy to continue researching.
My mother continues to improve, and hopefully more rapidly as she begins her cardiac rehab in earnest tomorrow. But we all know that strength will only dwindle over the coming months and years as the valve continues to fail with no hope of replacement. Anyone have a new aorta they're willing to part with? (trust me, macabre humor only)
Until then, I am working on a mutual dream of ours to start a business in hopes that she can be an active part of it for even a year before she must really slow down again. I'm also doing much of the household maintenance and all of the yard work. This leaves virtually no room for reading, research, writing and blogwork. For that I am sorry.
I will keep trying to come back. Will update the occasional page, but unfortunately will not resume my previous activity level for another month or more.
I think of and pray for all of you every day.

Hello everyone.
I know not many are reading, but I wanted to share some information...
Gary in DC just sent me some information regarding MS cutting funding for its 15 mental health centers. We KNOW this is a very bad thing for the people of MS. If you know anyone in the mental health field - Licensed Social Worker, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Critical Incident Stress Team, Stephen Minister, etc., please have them start contacting volunteer centers to go assist. This is VITAL to the recovery of the people - which ARE the states of MS, AL and LA.
A new round of pet food recalls is beginning. Most animal shelters haven't recovered for the first round and are now dealing with another. Val in Biloxi told me their main shelter ran out of food. Ran out! If you are an animal lover, PLEASE consider sending donations to the Humane Society of Southern MS (HSSM.org) or do a search for gulf coast animal shelters to choose your own. Adopt a pet when you volunteer. It will help take the pressure off their already over-burdened system.
Personally - my vertigo is finally easing up a bit. It usually takes my brain about 6 weeks to adjust to a new skill set and we're right on schedule. I'm hoping to start adding a little of the blog work in again as my brain improves. I have nearly 90 emails waiting for me as I remain optimistic that I can do it ALL.
Mom is doing incredibly well. She's about a month ahead in her physical recovery and the depression doesn't seem to have hit yet. They have her on an antidepressant NOW, so hopefully that portion of the post-op crap won't crop up.
My wild child Cicero died. I trapped him instead of the injured Black Guy and so took him to be neutered. He tested VERY positive for Feline Leukemia, so they put him down. He's buried under our purple martin house with 2 other cats - Markie and Porky. I miss the Cute Kiddo!
Black Guy has an injured front paw. I think it was broken, because he's starting to put some weight on it when he walks. Not when he runs, but that's ok. He's getting there. Eating like a little horse, but that's fine.

I hope to do more soon. I know I keep saying that, but it's true. Possibly more this week even! Woo.


4/19 Well, some of you know and some of you don't - and I have no clue who reads this. I'll try to do an email update as well, but can't promise a thing.
Mom's out of the hospital from her surgery. She came out of anesthesia 2 hours early, got the breathing tube (extubated) taken out an hour early and came home 1-3 days early.
After some generic resistance, she's doing her walking and has already moved up to the next bracket of difficulty - on the day she was scheduled to come home. WOW.
Sister is gone back to Baltimore and I'm incredibly overwhelmed. BUT, I was able to drive myself to 3 places - all less than a mile away and in 2 trips, but that's generally unheard of for me.
I've sent out 5 boxes this week and will probably send out another 5 next week. Maybe more - I don't know. One of my stops was a church rummage sale just down the road. I'll be going through the dregs tomorrow for more stuff, but got what I could afford today.
Am also sending out boxtops and labels for education to the Bay/Waveland School District tomorrow. I hope it isn't too late for this year's tally, but I truly am not sure. Mom had her heart attack right when I was planning on sending them - end of March.
Am going to do dribs and drabs on the sites as I'm able. Tonight I'm doing some, but I have to start a quilt tomorrow - Saturday at the latest, so that will take a lot of my time.
We're also looking to get a long arm quilter. I know - what is THAT? Go to Nolting.com for a better idea of the model we're seriously considering.
It means yet another out building on the property, but we've found a nice place that builds to spec for very little money. After I see HOW good they are, I'll be talking to them about getting into the transitional home business. They don't have many pictures on their site, but it's AmishWoodWorks.com to get a general idea of what they are capable of. I think it would be a great avenue for them to go in, but we'll see how our building goes first.
Mom really wants to move on that because she has seen her mortality, and it's not long. Because they couldn't do all of the work they had hoped, it appears she has 2 ish years left before the valve completely fails.
It's just incredible how PINK she is. There is blood in that body! Woo! She hasn't looked this good in a couple of years.
So, that's it for now. I miss you all and hope to be back within a few more weeks.

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July-September Updates From Leslie

Wow - virtually a month since my last update to everyone.
Obviously, life hasn't slowed down at all for me. If anything, it's increased substantially.
However, I am trying to keep my hand in things a bit. I am updating a few pages every month, and am finding I'm ok with that. I'm still working on the CoHR, so that's at least once a month.
There's a new organization that has been added. Disaster Accountability Project. Please work with Ben. He's really working to make things better for the next time - because there will be a next time.
There's a new promotion through Boxtops For Education - please check it out - it's more than just the little clipout things to help the schools.
I am also trying to update the "weekly" features with items that are still of consequence, but written are year or so ago. The Letter of The Week right now is about Make a Difference Day. Read it, act!
I'm still working on things - just not nearly as visibly.
Love everyone,
8/15 Well, it's official. I've finally admitted I can't continue. I've sent email to those I've been most active with. For all others, there's this.
It's so difficult to face the reality that I have to end this run, but I must. My mom isn't recovering as well as the docs hoped, and my dad continues to decline with his dementia.
Money is an issue with Mom's medical bills. Dad just broke his hearing aids, so there's another $4500 out. Their retirement fund is tied into stocks, and with THAT aspect of life tanking, it's difficult to say how much they'll have by year end. My DSS check is minimal at best, and while quilting is a great hobby, it sure doesn't pay the bills - especially when I just can't do anything close to FT. So, while it might help, it isn't the answer.
I'm continuing to a small extent with 2 of the families on the RPR site, along with small packages to different groups - as I can collect needed items.
I'm also hoping to continue hosting the CoHR on a monthly basis. I actually feel good about this month's. For once there is a fairly large amount of information about the children and their plight through the entire recovery process.
I will probably write editorial type posts as I get information and the ire.
If there is anyone willing to continue the work I've begun on these sites, please contact me @ KatrinaCoalition at AOL.com. We'll talk.
My contacts are VAST. I have some pretty strict rules, and because it's so closely associated with me as a person, those rules would need to be adhered to. But - the work is important. Please consider it.
Thank you to all those who've written to me supporting my decision to "resign". It means the world to me. I hope someday to meet at least a few of you - you became my family, my friends, my support, my hope.
I'll never stop thinking of you, praying for you, working for you - even if on a substantially reduced level.

7/18 Wow, my hair has grown since this picture was taken. Will try to get a new one up.
Well, I'm making a quilt for the March of Dimes fund raiser in Biloxi. I do hope it brings in a buck or two for them. However, I know what quilts usually go for at fundraisers, it isn't impressive.
Life here in NY is still hectic. I've done this week's submission of the Carnival of Hurricane Relief. There is SO little out there from emergency services personnel that I know they are suffering in silence. Well, the NOPD isn't. Which I'm glad for.
But it's very frustrating to see they have virtually no voice for them.
I'm still working on the quilt shed, and am very hopeful it'll be complete in the next month. I am getting so tired of dealing with it - on my end. The guys working on it - they could keep working on it for the next 6 months for all I care. But I'm so exhausted all the time.
Blueberries are coming on. Much sweeter than last year! Sun will do that for a fruit.
Am still sending boxes down for people and organizations, but am still just sick over not being able to do more online. One of these days life might allow me to choose this again. I don't know.
More soon....

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

March 07 Updates

Photo taken 3/4 in front of a mirror. Hence, poor rez.

3/31 Life just doesn't get more interesting, I'm telling you. Have had a lot of great movement on the Real People Relief site, so am thrilled about that. My dad is sending out the last 6 boxes of stuff I had collected - have sent out almost 20 this month. Enough for 1 month. I can only afford so much postage!
Speaking of Dad, he has a killer sinus infection. Finally went to the doc after 2 weeks of feeling worse every day. During that time, he infected both me and my mom. She ended up in the hospital early this AM because of it. She has 2 issues going on at once - probably lung infection and a "cardiac event". She went into congestive heart failure for no apparent reason. Blood work (except ABGs) is fine, EKG is fine, Xray showed lungs half full of fluid. So, they're not sure why it happened, but diurectics took care of it thus far. They are urging her to start a smoking cessation program. I say, this is life. She's smoked for the last 60 years. Ya think she's really going to quit?
So, I've been up since 130AM and am finally feeling like I could nap. Dizzy. Yuppers.
Oh - if anyone can give me an idea of how many dentists were in Hancock County prior to the storm, I'd appreciate it. The MS Dental Association states 13 was all the county had. Like that was enough?! I just have a hard time believing it. They're also strongly suggesting no outside help is needed for the citizens. I've got a letter drafted, but need to have somewhere to send people or 'dental kits', should I get a response to the letter. She gave me little to know assistance in that way.
So, will keep you posted! I'm thinking it's naptime.

3/28 Well, I've had one of those roller coaster days. Vertigo is just slamming me to the couch, and had a dentist appointment, BUT said appointment went far better than originally planned.
All I can say is: Get a second opinion and use Act Restore.
Doc 1 said I needed 8 fillings. Got Doc 2 for the fillings - filled one and said I was good to go, didn't need the other 7. That's an 800 dollar difference in finances.
I bought a lottery ticket. 2 even.
Restore, according to the hygienest in her best conspiratorial whisper, is more than just marketing, works better than their flouride treatment and is about 1/4 the cost of that single treatment.
So - hope to be back up and running in the next day or so - as long as I stay away from reading. LOL

3/24 Much going on. My vertigo is better the last couple of days. I've entered a new stage with it. At the beginning, I was just dizzy every day without escape. But, it's been 5 years and while I'm dizzy all the time, there are times I can actually ignore it for up to an hour - so that's huge progress.
But also, now, I am finding medications bother me. The first was a year ago and it took me almost that entire year to figure out it was the medication. Once I was off it, my allergies were better, my vertigo was better and my MOOD was better. This time, I started an allergy med up again - Feb/March are my worst months - and I was instantly worse with vertigo. No depression with it - GOOD - but no reading or computer work either - bad.
Quit taking it and am bumping up good old benadryl to help compensate. So, am back to being able to work on the computer again. Not as much as last week, but will build back up in the next week or so.
Went to a rummage sale - first of the season. I was able to buy about $500 for $34. WOW. Have shipped most of it out already, have 2 more boxes to pack up and another 2 to ship with them Monday and it'll all be on its way.
Generally I HATE rummage sales, but when it's for a good cause - like my families - I'll make the effort to go.
Plus, there are several people who were running the sale who want to assist, so might have gotten another church into my network of helpers. Way cool!
Have sent out over 400 letters to groups I think will listen - from all over NYS.
You know that 90,000 sq. mi. figure bantered about for destruction from Rita/Katrina? Well, if someone asks you - it's the same space as MA, ME, NJ, DE, CT, RI, MD, VT and NH being destroyed. How long would it take to rebuild that kind of area?
And considering NY hasn't rebuilt the 13 buildings that were destroyed (and 25 that were damaged), how long do you think it will take to rebuild that kind of area?
Sent out an update for folks working in Hancock County, MS. If you want to be on that list, please let me know and I'll get you there. Just let me know who you're affiliated with and the email you want used for the updates. It usually no more than 1 every 2 weeks. If I send one out every 10 days, I'm amazed.
So - that's it. I think. In a nutshell anyway. If I think of more, I'll add it.
Take care and write.

3/20 - FYI - Am not going to be posting much for the next few days. My vertigo has decompensated again and am too dizzy to do the reading necessary to update. It's spring - my worst season of the entire year - so it might be a slow one. Please hang in there with me. I'll keep doing all I can...

3/17 Happy St. Patricks Day to all. I do hope it hasn't been exclusively for drinking green beer. I do have to admit, I'm off sweets for Lent and made a banana/nut cake just for today. LOL - have only had 2 thins slices, so am doing better than I thought I might.
Wing Print and Foot Path of Crow 3/18/07

For those who like statistics - I've had roughly 43000 (42600) hits on the blogs since I began this little venture. Not bad considering I've done NO marketing and can't make phone calls to increase my networking field.
The Carnival of Hurricane Relief was being highlighted at www.blogcarnival.com this past Thursday. I was a bit disappointed there wasn't a huge uptick in hits, but about 40 more than average, so it's 40 more than I would have gotten on a Thursday.
And no, I don't post the numbers because this isn't a competition. And to me, that's all those numbers are for - to compete. It just tells me that word is spreading and people are using the resources I've posted - which is the sole purpose.
One of the groups I snail mailed 8 letters in 1 envelope to (still doing that by the way) has offered to send an open letter to ALL of that states university listservs of staff, faculty and students. WOW. Obviously, I'm taking my time with that wording. Keeping it relevent, focused, accurate AND moving all at the same time - not easily done. But, once I'm sure of the wording, I'll post it for you to send out, should you wish.
Small world note - I have a cousin in AZ who stayed with friends for a week in Phoenix. Their daughter was spending her spring break in Pearlington. He said he'd have her email me when she got back, knowing I was trying to help P-ton as well. How wild is that? I remain amazed at how connected we all really are.
I also received a note from the woman who runs Charity in Action. I had sent out a note to all of those working in Hancock County re: some local efforts to get some help rolling in. She read the letter from Suzanne Stahl about the West Hancock Fire and Rescue (Pearlington), and wrote a check for $5000, with fund raising to begin to send more down, hopefully on a regular basis.
How wonderful is that? They need the cash so badly too. Fuel is the huge cost. Some fire departments are ending up limiting their training severely because they need the fuel for actual emergencies. Very scary.
Please visit the Carnival. I have focused on the elderly. I truly tried to find some good news stories or posts from others, but they don't exist. It's tragic how horribly the elderly are being treated. I am appalled and ashamed at the way our nation, gov't and citizens alike, are choosing NOT to assist - except for a few thousand intrepid folks doing everything they can to find ways out of this mess. 3/15 - The Elderly

3/9 How do!
I'm going to harp one more time on the work we've chosen to do - first, a 10 page pdf link Keeping Our Eye On The Ball
Next - some stats isolated from other sources:
Katrina, followed by Rita one month later, were two of the most intense hurricanes ever recorded in the nation’s history.
The storms had a massive physical impact on the land, affecting 90,000 square miles – an area the size of Great Britain.
Over 80 percent of the city of New Orleans flooded – an area seven times the size of Manhattan.
More than 1.5 million people were directly affected and more than 800,000 citizens were forced from their homes – the largest displacement of people since the great Dust Bowl migrations of the 1930s.
These are the reasons we need to stay focused and not get distracted by the tragic, yet small disasters elsewhere in the country. We've given our word to help the COAST. Others in the nation can and will assist the smaller disasters that continue to occur.
You know what makes me feel rich? New socks and new jeans. I haven't bought socks in over 2 years and haven't had more than 2 pairs of jeans in at least 15 years. I still have to buy the socks since I'm down to about 5 pairs and they're pretty thing. But I now have *5* pairs of jeans. WOW. A tan pair, dark blue pair, 2 medium blue and 1 faded blue. Who knew you could actually USE that many?!
So, I've gotten through about half of my printing of letters to mail out. I'm doing the biggy first. It's 8 letters in 1. I'm sending it to a national group similar to Alternative Spring Break called Campus Compact. I've been in contact with one of the heads of the national department. The Powers That Be strongly urged him to remove Katrina from the website's home page. But he hinted that if I sent a letter or two to the different states' departments, I just might see a resurgance of assistance. I love reading between the lines!
So, I'm sending 8 letters in one envelope. I might as well overwhelm them as much as the rest of us are. But it really shows how large the need still is. To me, that's most important.
I'm continuing to break up the resource pages as they become cumbersome. I've added more than I thought I would, and am going to be breaking more out as well. But, it should make the pages less overwhelming to work with and make it so folks don't have to scroll through pages to find something.
Have made some big progress with different networking projects. If you know of anyone starting a community project within the Gulf, please let me know! We, as volunteers, as well as (and more importantly) the nation need to see what all of these folks are trying to do to help themselves.
We'll get there yet.
Please write soon.
Picture of my Fat Boy (Jaspurr), sleeping
3/4 - Am updating resource pages - have 2 done and am adding at least 2, please be patient.
3/3 Hey Folks. If this is disjointed, it's due to my vertigo having "decompensated" this weekend. I'm dizzier than a dirvish right now.
I've noticed a disturbing trend, especially among the Virtual Volunteers. Many are taking their efforts to a national level. While I applaude the notion of sharing the knowledge and information gained through the recovery efforts in the Gulf, I cannot applaude how it's being accomplished.
We, as a group, committed to helping the Coast recover. By using our time and nergy researching resources for states other than those in the recovery area detracts from and to the detriment of those we've given our word to helping. I know we are helping those who evacuated, and that research isn't being wasted, but Alaska?
As an example - a group I work with has an incredible amount of information on resources for every state in the nation. But they haven't spent that same energy in researching the resources available to the people in MS, AL or LA. I just sent them my list of 40+ organizations and agencies that are in just one county. And when you remember that about 100 counties were DESTROYED by Katrina, how many more are they missing?
Plus, most natural disaster strike no more than a half dozen counties in any given state, and do no more than sporadict destruction, with even more sporadic damage. Katrina destroyed all infrastructure in those 100 counties.
These are the people we said we'd help. Not the ones who still have roads, sewer, water, post offices, grocery stores, schools, and 95% of their homes liveable (vs. 95% washed away).
I have offered my information and knowledge to those who have had a disaster strike - my area was hit by a 300 year flood June, '06, and established a blog for the initial information citizens would need to start getting their lives back together. From there, I have been very much in the background and they research my sites rather than come to me directly. It allows me to remain focused on my goal of Hancock County, MS and the rest of the Gulf Coast.
[hopping off soap box]
I have found that I make an effort to update 6-10 pages on my sites. I found this out because I've begun keeping notes on what I update - I've been losing track lately. I then found out WHY I was losing track - I have more than 700 pages to keep track of.
I remain amazed that I have that much information to process on a daily basis and that it remains this constant this long after the disaster struck. I don't argue at all because I'm in the for the long haul. I just am amazed that there is this much to assimilate, colate and disseminate daily!
I also remain about 40 emails behind. That just won't change, I'm afraid.
Am preparing for a pretty big mailing binge. LOL - I can mail up to 5 pages with a first class stamp. So I am hoping to utilize this by reviewing all of my letters, printing out the relevant ones and sending them as a packet rather than a single page letter to different organizations around the state. I might as well go through a ream of paper per roll of stamps!
I'll let you know what ones I settle on in case you wish to do the same.
I've also had some help from a great friend who's also a VV in reviewing the look of the blogs. She helped me incredibly, and so the side bar has a new look that works far better than the old one. I will be doing similar work to some pages as I have the eye/brain power.
Take care.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

From CoHR Children

From 2/15 with updates throughout the month

This edition's topic shall be Children. They are so fragile, so resilient and so neglected throughout the recovery. It hasn't been intentional, but even the infrastructure of child welfare was completely destroyed. Children's Homes, Shelters, Foster Homes - all wiped out. Social workers, child advocates, even police departments are working with reduced or non-existent staff. And so, they are first.

3/12 Videos from WLOX - Katrina Kids
2 part series at bottom of WLOX homepage. Go to Special report section of www.WLOX.com for more information

3/7 The Giving Circle - Is sponsoring an Easter Egg Hunt in Waveland, MS. With some extra help and work, it will excced 400 children and 3-4 organizations co-sponsoring. If you want to help - contact Sharon@TheGivingCircle.org.

Random Kid - Kids Helping Kids (2/24)

Muhlenberg Weekly - Photo Exhibit of and by Katrina Children (2/24)

Allen L. Roland - Katrina - The Good The Bad The Ugly (2/24)

Miss MS Teen - Project Mommy for Hancock County, MS (2/23)
3/7 - Picture of Ms Tasia is on the page linked above.
3/5 http://www.namiss.com/eventresults/winners/?id=2006%20State%20Mississippi - search MS and she'll be at the bottom of page

Terry - Hope Haven Children's Shelter - 3/5 he's working with BucksMont on a BIG project - more soon.

CNN's New Weekly - Gumbo helps kids tell their stories in NOLA

The Mobile Learning Institute - The Children in Their Own Words.

Mercy Corps - One Survivor's Efforts To Help Children See

Christian Children's Fund - Tsunami Children Write

Story Of A Storm - Written By Children The Week After

Boys and Girls Clubs - A dated message, but current numbers

Lori KG - An Artist Helps Her Community's Children.

Linda - Pictures and news of Pearlington's Children

Ginger - 8 People in a Single-Wide 3/5 - She's added a comment for folks to read

Our Lady Academy - MS's Only All Girls School A Message of Hope

JB - An article sent to me by a great teacher in MS

Compiled from Katrina's Angels - Financial Aid For All Students

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Software Suggestions 4 Donated Computers

From Microsoft's page regarding how to donate computers:

"If possible, keep the operating system intact. If you are donating
hardware with a pre-installed Microsoft operating system, keep in mind that
the license is only valid when used on the original OEM machine on which it
was first installed. Since charitable organizations usually cannot afford
to purchase and license new operating systems, a legal transfer (keeping
the machine and operating system together) can be very helpful. Linux and
Mac operating systems have different requirements, but we urge that
whenever possible, please pass on the operating system software with all
donated computers."


This page also has info on tools that "wipe" personal info off of the computer.

3/30 - Just heard from 2 large hospitals in Baltimore - they are incredibly frustrated by the fact they must protect the hospital and physically destroy all hard drives of old computers. Someone good at forensic reconstruction of a hard drive can bring back the information, so all HD's are put through a magnet, rendering them useless.

Anybody have solutions to this problem?

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