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.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Updates From Leslie - Jan and Feb

February 25
Just a quick one.
I have been getting some of the best email lately! Life feels so good to have so many people think the blog is good AND from those who have been able to go down and help being so psyched that they are planning on going again.

I'm hoping to have updates from at least 2 of them in the very near future. The previous post - with the link to the pictures, is one of the people just back from the trip. She's done a great job with her photos - I just looked at every single one!

I just finished - and mailed out - 50 potholders to various organizations. It's a small thing, but WOW when you don't have good pot holders, the kitchen work is a real drag! So, they're each getting 8 or 9 - I don't remember. Will be making more this week.

Also just sent out 6 of the baby quilts from ABC Quilts. I believe their website is http://www.abcquilts.org/, but will double check when I can get IE working right.

And I also just sent 2 wall hangings for the Charles B. Murphy Elementary's library - half a trailer. I'll get a couple more done as soon as I get a couple more paying jobs out the door, but am pretty happy with the way they turned out.

And finally - I am being interviewed tomorrow (Sunday) with our local CBS affiliate for a tie in story on Pearlington and Hancock County. I'll add more about it after it happens. Wish me luck.

Sunday here.
Had the interview. It went very well! Mike is a great guy and if I could remember the videographer's name, I'd say he's cool too, but I don't remember it, sadly.

The whole thing took about a half hour, was edited down to about 2 minutes, got the point across far more effectively than I ever could and I'm dizzier than a dirvish from it all! If I find it on their website (http://www.wbng.com/), I'll post it for folks to see. I'm also hoping to send a tape or CD of it down for Pearlington folks to see that they are not forgotten.

But until my head slows down, I can't do my weekly update. Sorry folks.

I'll get to it Monday.
I just can't today.

February 17
Hey folks!
A lot has happened, a lot of new pictures and such, so I figured I needed to get this information up tonight.
I went to my parents' church and asked a group that makes "ugly quilts" if I could have 3-4 per month for babies in Hancock County as I heard of the need. They gave me a baker's dozen to start! 13 in all, plus 6 teddy bears and 8 hand made baby hats. I remain astounded at the generosity of Methodists! And as often as I need more, I can have them - as long as they have them made.

This is Jaspurr, my Quality Assurance Director. And yes, they've been washed since QA has been performed. What's that musical - Once Upon A Mattress?

Anyway, I'll be sending 6 out this coming week and will await further orders!

I feel so blessed!

Second - I got a note from a very nice gent named Paul who has been to Gulfport, Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian back in October. He's going again in March (from VA) and will be giving an update from there. He flattered me highly when he stated the blog was the most accurate he had found. And that's thanks to all the people I talk to! I couldn't be this accurate without the updates from volunteers, residents, etc. As you've seen, I rely very little on 'mass media' to tell the story.

Third - I've started sending letters out to some Baptist Churches in my area. There are 2 Baptist organizations in Hancock County that I know of, and so am hoping by focusing my requests to 2 or 3 agencies per demographic, it will help fascilitate a higher volunteer rate. I'll be posting the letters in the near future for folks to copy and send in their own neighborhoods.

Trust me, it works and it takes no time when someone else does the writing!Fourth - Great news! Hancock County is going to be scrutinized on CBS Evening News the week of February 20th! Part of it will be on the One House At A Time project, which is where I started this whole mess. I'll be able to put faces to the names of all the people I "know". Ronnie and Jake primarily.
I've not had the pleasure of meeting Buster yet.

So please watch! I believe it will be enlightening to see how little has happened with all that HAS happened. Drops in a bucket. But at least eventually, the bucket does fill. We're getting there!

And a final picture, taken by Ben Moore of the Kansas East UM Conference - If I remember correctly, it wasn't taken but a few weeks ago - note the condition of the tree, the debris, the roofs.

January 30
It's been a busy week for me.
I've finished a queen-size quilt in record time, established 2 new blogs (on AOL), found a website for schools affected the hurricane season, emailed all the schools listed within Hancock County's borders requesting needs lists, sent out requests for medical personnel, requests to Catholic schools for Catholic schools, and requests for 1 of the 4 remaining radio stations in the Gulf Region.

The 2 blogs on AOL are a brainstorm that leaves you feeling like an idiot - "Why didn't I think of that sooner?" But AOL is so self sufficient that most users don't go beyond it's "borders". I'm splitting the information on my http://www.katrinanetworking.blogspot.com/ one between http://journals.aol.com/onedndylyon/WaysToHelpHurricaneKatrinaVictim/ and http://journals.aol.com/katrinacoalition/KatrinaCoalition/

The Katrina Coalition one has the needs lists, while the Ways To Help one is just the different low-impact ways of helping. Please forward these to AOL users you know - just to get the word out. Thank you!

I have heard from 3 schools thus far and have posted their needs as best I can. I'm also trying to focus requests to the proper demographics to better assure a higher response rate. I think it's working! Eventually, I'll branch out to other counties/states, but for now, I'm busy enough with just Broome County.

The radio station found me - so I tidied up their letter, posted it and also sent it to B.U.'s radio station. Students, being what they are, haven't replied, but I'm not concerned. I have the rest of the SUNY system to tackle. The radio station is actually very cool. It's run by a couple, both of whom are disabled and lost EVERYTHING. They moved the station in with the Hancock County Emergency Operations Center to assist with communications and have ended up being a national model for assisting with disaster management. Equipment, however, is expensive and needs both upgrading and replacing in order to serve more folks in the affected region. Radio is still the only communication they have with the outside world in many parts. Phone, cable and internet are still rare commodities, but FEMA did hand out portable radios for people to better know what is going on in both the region and the world.

Oh - and one more thing. A friend of mine is seriously considering 'adopting' a teacher or family. If this is something you would like to do, please let me know at your earliest convenience. You can contact any of the organizations I have been in contact with and you can either work with one of their people directly or they can most likely point you toward someone in need.

Remember - all of the teachers, the students, the families, the firefighters, the police officers, the nurses, doctors, etc. have lost everything - so finding even just one person to help is both easy and needed.


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