KatrinaAdvocate

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.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

June Updates from Leslie


6/24
Hey folks... I think I'm getting the hang of the upload issue with Blogger. You get one a day. That's it. So, I'm going to try that theory and see what happens. I've actually gotten 2 to UL today, so I figure I'm ahead of the curve.
Well, obviously, I didn't go to Saratoga Springs to meet Tommy Longo and whomever else came up from Waveland. I'm heartbroken, but almost too dizzy to realize it. The infection is slowly getting better, but my eyes are still twitching and the brain is still twirling.
On a major upnote, a guy contacted me re: the fire departments in Hancock County. It seems he has some powerful contacts as well as him going down to assist however he can. He got to know the folks while down there with FEMA right after the storm. Well, it seems one of those contacts is already going to be down there starting this weekend and has promised to tour Hancock County on his way East to the South East District Meeting for the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Woo!
We might actually get some ink out of this for the fire departments. It's a pretty dire situation and everyone in fire service that I speak to thinks there is nothing more that needs doing. Oy! What I think we, collectively, are feeling is, all of this money has been appropriated, given, granted, etc. and yet NO one at the ground level as seen it yet. Some money has come through, but for the billions that have been handed out, you would think every police agency, fire agency, city hall, library system and school system would be completely rebuilt. And yet, they still have over 70% total destruction.
Made a bunch of phone calls, have continued my email and snail mail full court press of NYS police agencies to assist Hancock County. That will be another 2-3 week for snail mail and at least 1 more week email. Finally got my eyes to tolerate catching up on my research. I had a bunch of organizations saved up to post on the blogs, but just hadn't had the ability to tolerate it.
Next is putting the information on data base for Citizen Action Team - if anyone wants to pull the info from the blogs and add it to their data base - let me know! I'll get you set up! It's something really small to do, but will have a major impact in the very near future. Last but not least, at least I think so, if you know of an organization that would benefit from being on any one of the blogs, let me know.
If you know of an organization that is on the blogs, but hasn't been updated in awhile, prod them into sending me an update. The more frequent the update, the more often people visit the posting. I'm not asking weekly, but monthly or twice monthly would be great. The ones who update quarterly or less get lost in space - literally. My thinking is, if they can't even update their own website, or email me with a 5 minute email, I honestly don't know how much they're doing down in Hancock County. That might be the wrong attitude, but the only way to get people committed to your cause is to communicate YOUR commitment. So - that's it for now. Contact me with any information or suggestions... KatrinaCoalition@aol.com

6/17
Hello everyone! We've gone from April weather to July weather in a matter of days here. And of course, it has to be right when I'm working on a small construction project. Discovery included that my brain still won't tolerate hammering - so I guess I need to stick to the landscaping and bribe some friends to do what little needs doing inside the house. That bribe is called "Rhubarb Pie". LOL Apple pie works too, but that's more of an autumn bribe.
Oh - this picture is the most recent I've ever put on here! My sister took it a couple of weeks ago. So now you know what I look like right now. Can't promise tomorrow, but that's as close to accurate as you'll get.
A great deal has happened this week. I've heard from many people who are working throughout the Gulf Region, wanting to use the information I have posted. Which is part of the reason I am splitting things just a little more. Hancock County news, needs, updates, etc. are now on http://www.hancockcountyrelief.blogspot.com/. This relieves the Networking blog to be just that - a networking blog. It will keep general articles, articles for volunteers to be better prepared for working down along the Gulf and for financial information that is not exclusive to Hancock County. This will allow all agencies throughout the region to find the information far more quickly, as well as allow those working specifically for Hancock County to find THEIR information more quickly. Let me know if any other ideas might work better! Seriously. The blogs are getting just over 100 hits a day, so I guess something is working right! Hopefully.
I have a local church that has agreed to assist me in collecting items. Since I am the one who will be shipping the stuff, it's obviously not going to be huge quantities, but consistency is the key! They will be collecting items from a list I've given them for a number of different agencies so that all of the folks will be able to participate for their favorite cause. I have enough items for at least 7 months! They may bump up the number of Sundays they will collect, but I don't want to burden them too much. I'd rather they be around for the long haul.
I've also started sending letters of request to NYS police departments. There are over 400! Eeep. Anyway, I'm sending at least 16/day by email when they have emails listed, and am mailing about 16/week to those that don't have email listed. It'll still take an estimated 5 months to get through them all. If anyone wants to do something similar with their state, please let me know. One thing people need to remember is that the 12 NE states don't have as many counties as were severely affected by Katrina and Rita.
So, I guess that's it for now. As always, if you know of an agency that would benefit from being listed on the blog, please please please email me or give them my information. I will be adding much of what's on my blogs to a database Katrinas Angels just pointed me toward. That's next week's project. And finally, I am putting all of my past updates on the Katrina Advocate blog. If anyone is interested in looking back at all that's been done with these blogs, you can. Each month has a single post. I've not gone back to check the links within those posts, so they may not work - especially prior to all the additions of new blogs. I truly don't expect anyone to be THAT interested, but then again, you might be. I don't know.
Take care everyone.

6/11
Blogger.com has some "unexpected maintenance" issues this week, so it's still a little twitchy for posting, but reading it seems to be just fine. I just can't get pictures to load for some reason.

Continue finding more grant possibilities - this time I found for law enforcement/fire and historic buildings - which many of the municipal buildings down there are. So that might help with the budget crunch.
Glenn, from NOLA, has a blog http://soulofneworleans.blogspot.com/ He's written me several times - neither of us know how he got my email, but I don't care! I've found great info on his blog and he's linking mine to his since it has so much universally sound information on it. Good! That's the idea behind the blog!
Collaborations with Foundation Hope and HANDS is going well. Ideas keep bouncing around and with any luck, we'll make some great progress.I have finished sending volunteer requests to the schools in Broome County and some of Tioga County, so will now start working on Emergency Services again. I'm getting MORE than a little annoyed at their reluctance to assist. Considering the number of counties affected directly by Hurricane Katrina alone is the same as CA and TX combined (roughly 300), I'm curious how they'd react if the measly 62 in NYS were all wiped out - would they want assistance? I'm guessing maybe.
I cleaned up and placed promotional material for the one fishermen's group on the http://www.katrinaadvocate.blogspot.com/ site. The monies from these T-shirts goes directly to reestablishing the association since the building, records, materials were wiped out. Even with all of that, this association is doing some pretty great things to help folks out.
I called Pastor Bonnie Ringdahl with CityTeam Ministries for an update. I've not called her in a couple of months. I feel shame. But, she was able to tell me some great news about a woman who is doing long term assistance for disabled folks within Hancock County. I hope there is someone like this in every county down there. Considering ALL of the national organizations who state they are there to assist the disabled are only paying lip service to it and telling you to go talk to all of the other agencies, there needs to be more help!
A Methodist minister here in town is asking her congregation to help collect items for me to send down. I've asked her if it would be possible to have 1 Sunday a month for such collections. Since she is retiring very soon, I hope the minister coming in will be as amenable as she has been. She emailed me and thinks this is a very good thing, so keep your fingers crossed!Also heard from a nun in the area - she located about 50 math books for middle school kids. I put her in contact with a lady from the Bay/Waveland school district hoping it helps. Since my contacts for the other schools are all without Internet and out of town, Tammy was my only contact right NOW. If she doesn't pan out, I'll do what I can to find a home for the books as quickly as possible.

6/4
This week has actually been a whirlwind of activity that doesn't show.

My sister was in town for the week, so that was very pleasant and we had tons of fun working outside in the yard. When she gets her pictures on the 'net, I'll put a couple of them up.

Anyway, I have found more articles, gotten a bunch of stuff in the mail and have had tons of writing to do - most of which is finished. Only one more after this.

I am getting some requests for information from local school teachers, so my letter-writing campaign to get some of them down to assist is paying off! I still have about 1 more week's worth of letters to get out, and then have to start back in on the emergency services sector and absolutely shame them into helping.

I get so pissed at the lack of compassion. We're not suffering that badly with budget cuts that we can't help out even a little.

Contacts continue to be made, but with the onset of the new hurricane season, they are back into full blown crisis management, which means the flow of information has slowed even more than it was before. But, I'll keep plugging away and posting the information as I receive it.

Each blog has had items updated and I think even some new stuff, so cruise through.

Leslie


6/11
Blogger.com has some "unexpected maintenance" issues this week, so it's still a little twitchy for posting, but reading it seems to be just fine. I just can't get pictures to load for some reason.

Continue finding more grant possibilities - this time I found for law enforcement/fire and historic buildings - which many of the municipal buildings down there are. So that might help with the budget crunch.

Glenn, from NOLA, has a blog
http://soulofneworleans.blogspot.com/ He's written me several times - neither of us know how he got my email, but I don't care! I've found great info on his blog and he's linking mine to his since it has so much universally sound information on it. Good! That's the idea behind the blog!

Collaborations with Foundation Hope and HANDS is going well. Ideas keep bouncing around and with any luck, we'll make some great progress.

I have finished sending volunteer requests to the schools in Broome County and some of Tioga County, so will now start working on Emergency Services again. I'm getting MORE than a little annoyed at their reluctance to assist. Considering the number of counties affected directly by Hurricane Katrina alone is the same as CA and TX combined (roughly 300), I'm curious how they'd react if the measly 62 in NYS were all wiped out - would they want assistance? I'm guessing maybe.

I cleaned up and placed promotional material for the one fishermen's group on the
http://www.katrinaadvocate.blogspot.com/ site. The monies from these T-shirts goes directly to reestablishing the association since the building, records, materials were wiped out. Even with all of that, this association is doing some pretty great things to help folks out.

I called Pastor Bonnie Ringdahl with CityTeam Ministries for an update. I've not called her in a couple of months. I feel shame. But, she was able to tell me some great news about a woman who is doing long term assistance for disabled folks within Hancock County. I hope there is someone like this in every county down there. Considering ALL of the national organizations who state they are there to assist the disabled are only paying lip service to it and telling you to go talk to all of the other agencies, there needs to be more help!

A Methodist minister here in town is asking her congregation to help collect items for me to send down. I've asked her if it would be possible to have 1 Sunday a month for such collections. Since she is retiring very soon, I hope the minister coming in will be as amenable as she has been. She emailed me and thinks this is a very good thing, so keep your fingers crossed!

Also heard from a nun in the area - she located about 50 math books for middle school kids. I put her in contact with a lady from the Bay/Waveland school district hoping it helps. Since my contacts for the other schools are all without Internet and out of town, Tammy was my only contact right NOW. If she doesn't pan out, I'll do what I can to find a home for the books as quickly as possible.


6/17





Hello everyone!

We've gone from April weather to July weather in a matter of days here. And of course, it has to be right when I'm working on a small construction project. Discovery included that my brain still won't tolerate hammering - so I guess I need to stick to the landscaping and bribe some friends to do what little needs doing inside the house. That bribe is called "Rhubarb Pie". LOL Apple pie works too, but that's more of an autumn bribe.

Oh - this picture is the most recent I've ever put on here! My sister took it a couple of weeks ago. So now you know what I look like right now. Can't promise tomorrow, but that's as close to accurate as you'll get.

A great deal has happened this week. I've heard from many people who are working throughout the Gulf Region, wanting to use the information I have posted. Which is part of the reason I am splitting things just a little more. Hancock County news, needs, updates, etc. are now on www.HancockCountyRelief.blogspot.com. This relieves the Networking blog to be just that - a networking blog. It will keep general articles, articles for volunteers to be better prepared for working down along the Gulf and for financial information that is not exclusive to Hancock County. This will allow all agencies throughout the region to find the information far more quickly, as well as allow those working specifically for Hancock County to find THEIR information more quickly.

Let me know if any other ideas might work better! Seriously. The blogs are getting just over 100 hits a day, so I guess something is working right! Hopefully.

I have a local church that has agreed to assist me in collecting items. Since I am the one who will be shipping the stuff, it's obviously not going to be huge quantities, but consistency is the key! They will be collecting items from a list I've given them for a number of different agencies so that all of the folks will be able to participate for their favorite cause. I have enough items for at least 7 months! They may bump up the number of Sundays they will collect, but I don't want to burden them too much. I'd rather they be around for the long haul.

I've also started sending letters of request to NYS police departments. There are over 400! Eeep. Anyway, I'm sending at least 16/day by email when they have emails listed, and am mailing about 16/week to those that don't have email listed. It'll still take an estimated 5 months to get through them all. If anyone wants to do something similar with their state, please let me know.

One thing people need to remember is that the 12 NE states don't have as many counties as were severely affected by Katrina and Rita.

So, I guess that's it for now. As always, if you know of an agency that would benefit from being listed on the blog, please please please email me or give them my information. I will be adding much of what's on my blogs to a database Katrinas Angels just pointed me toward. That's next week's project.

And finally, I am putting all of my past updates on the Katrina Advocate blog. If anyone is interested in looking back at all that's been done with these blogs, you can. Each month has a single post. I'v enot gone back to check the links within those posts, so they may not work - expecially prior to all the additions of new blogs. I truly don't expect anyone to be THAT interested, but then again, you might be. I don't know.

Take care everyone.

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