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, September 24, 2006

September Leslie Updates

I am in Baltimore! And WOW does it feel good! It hasn't gotten above 70 back up in Binghamton for about a month now. Just 4 hours SE and it's going to be in the mid 80's today. Eeee! Summer is back, even if for a fleeting moment!

And since I am here, I don't have to worry about sharing the computer during the week - or even today for that matter. I'll be able to do searches until my eyes cross if I want! Not that I will. Making my eyes cross is a bad thing. It does mean I'll be working very heavily on the emergency services blog - finding as much information as I can about the different departments throughout the region so I can fill in some blanks. I'll be alternating that with finding updates for all of the other blogs. It'll feel very good to be able to do that again!

A friend from my parents' church did a huge thing. She and her 2 kids took up a collection of stuff for "my" marines. I adopted a unit that was in Afghanistan over a year ago and have been sending them care packages ever since. Well, they got a chance to come home for about 6 months before benig redeployed to Iraq. I don't know where in Iraq yet, but it doesn't really matter. The Marines are taking the brunt of the damage regardless of locations. Anyway, I was able to get a GREAT box ready to ship to them before I left, plus have tons left to send in a month. Toothbrushes, soap, toilet paper, combs, nail files, etc.

She also collected kid's toothbrushes. Since I don't know where they'll be stationed - will there be children around to hand them out - I'm sending those down to MS. I figure the brushes will be needed at least as much down there as in Iraq. They're expensive! I had enough to fill an entire shoebox! That's a lot of toothbrushes! So that box will be going out when the Marine box does.

As always, would love to hear from folks. Please email when you can. Oh - that reminds me - Being in Baltimore means I don't have access the the KatrinaCoalition email. I don't remember the password - what an idiott I am! So please contact me through OneDndyLyon@aol.com That will make life much easier.

Take care everyone.

Leslie

9/17

Well, I'm busy again. And it feels good!

In my header for this blog, I state that as I am able, I will branch out to other areas for doing relief work. And that's what's happening. It's taken a full year to get the Hancock County blogs to where they are pretty much self maintaining. I still get information about them and new organizations, but not nearly what it was even 4 months ago.

So, with them stabilizing, I am starting new informational blogs. I have the emergency services one that is slow going since I don't have any contacts down there. And I now have one for artists all along the gulf. www.ArtisanRelief.blogspot.com. This has information specific to the artists as well as generic information they may not have had available to them prior to this. I have 2 great contacts - Carole Pigott and Val Cushman, plus the incredible Lori Gordon and all are supplying me with 98% of the information. I'm just making it look good! [laughing] - Seriously, that's it.

I still have about 13 emails to go through and post on the blog to be caught up, but once I do, the blog will be as up to date as it can be, and will begin posting websites for the artists to review.

If any of you know artists, or have information regarding artist relief efforts, I'd love to hear!

I would start one for the fishermen, but unfortunately, so few of them are online - particularly the lobbyists, it's something of a waste of time AND I can't get the information easily. So, it's sad, but there's just too little I can do for them. And I am truly afraid they're a dying breed.



On the household front, I have finished 1 quilt, am halfway through another, have 2 more to make, a wall hanging to do for a huge competition and then I'll be caught up. I'm ready to put a hand rail in on the stairs for my dad - bad knees - have done the necessary repairs and painting to the area to be ready. And will then begin preparing the diningroom for painting. It's been well over a decade since the interior was painted, and this is the first I've been close to able since the vertigo hit 5 years ago.

And that - as they say - is that.

As always, thanks for the support - it means more than you'll know!

Leslie

www.KatrinaNetworking.blogspot.com
www.KatrinaPoliceFireAmbulance.blogspot.com
www.KatrinaAdvocate.blogspot.com
www.ArtisanRelief.blogspot.com
www.BayStLouisRelief.blogspot.com
www.HancockCountyRelief.blogspot.com
www.PearlingtonRelief.blogspot.com
www.WavelandRelief.blogspot.com

9/11
Well, I now have something like 8 blogs. LOL Obviously 1 or 2 won't keep me out of trouble.
KatrinaNetworking
HancockCountyRelief
BayStLouisRelief
PearlingtonRelief
WavelandRelief
KatrinaAdvocate
and now
KatrinaPoliceFireAmbulance
Follow all of those with .blogspot.com and you'll have their addresses.

I added the emergency services blog because all segments feel very abandoned. They all feel the others have gotten more than they have - like fire feels police have gotten more, etc. The thing is, they've all been shafted. What normally was taken care of by the communities can no longer occur - the communities have nothing left right now and are actually turning to the ES. The rest of the country just seems to think all ES are fine and dandy and will do just fine in helping out with the rebuilding.

Truth be told - they are all at only 2/3 original staff, if that. They've all lost their homes, their possessions and everything the departments need to run, much less run effectively. They are always working under the stress of being laid off and never having enough fuel to do their jobs appropriately, and are always working with increased violence. I think NOLA FD is still having to man the truck with armed personnel at calls. That never happened before Katrina.

I'd like some help with this work. Minor research or even links to start the research myself. If you know of anyone who might be able to help me with this, please send this to them. I'd appreciate it.

Then there's the animal crisis. Most animal rescue groups are gone - all out of money. Vets are as scarce as physicians - no more than 1/3 original numbers. Many animals still haven't been caught and rehabbed, so are breeding. Heartworm is epidemic and dogs are being euthanized as soon as they are diagnosed. There's no money for treatment and virtually no money for prevention. Spay Neuter programs are trying to run, but with no money for supplies, the vets can't even give their time away - without the equipment, surgery just can't happen.

So, the secondary crises are beginning to occur with the primary ones not being resolved. So, much of the debris might be gone and things look some better, but I'd say things are probably far worse than most can comprehend. The threats to human health and life are being more violent and more insidious all at the same time. Frightening to watch and no I can do nothing about except write.

So - I have around 330 blog posts that I monitor and update as frequently as I can, and the list is slowly growing on a weekly basis. Some days it feels very futile. Other days, I know it's filling a great need.

On that note - I'd like to ask folks to peruse the blogs. There's a new format that allows you to see the index for each blog as soon as you visit the blog. You don't have the searching for items like before. I am also starting some work on the indices to make them easier to navigate as well. Please help where you can. I know it's difficult to know where to start, but even just paper grocery bags to a food pantry or distribution center will help them immeasurably.

Thank you!

Leslie


Yup - it's been a while.

Things are evolving yet again. I have started assisting folks with their websites/blogs. Very fun, fulfilling and shows the next stage of progress - people are making new lives, picking up where they left off, plus a little and showing signs of hope/healing.

I'll continue updating as often as I have updates - but I can't squeeze the updates out of people and just can't take making the phone calls anymore, so have to rely on email. It makes it difficult and less successful, but it's the only way for me. The vertigo really sucks.

On that note - it seems my asthma was doing more to my vertigo than I thought. So, am on 2 new meds to try and control it. When the meds are working, the vertigo is virtually gone. When they aren't working - I can't do anything. May try a new drug if the one doesn't start working better soon, but otherwise am fairly happy with the way I'm feeling. Minus the asthma coughing crap.

I had a friend down in Hancock County teach me something about blogging I did NOT know! It is so stinkin' cool. If you change the date on a post (through the post and comment options link), you can keep a particular post at the TOP at all times! WOW! I don't know anyone else who has figured this out so I am beyond thrilled about this information.

And she thinks I'm helping HER. Ha! Lori - you are The Best!

That one little item has made and will make working the blogs so much easier. I'll be keeping the Index at the top and will update that as I update items. This eliminates the need for weekly hours of work on Sunday to get everything updated and posted as such. As I update, I mark the index with the date that item was updated and voile'! Done-O!

As you can see, it takes so little to make me happy.

The fire fighter friend is refusing to join the newest addition to the blog family - one for emergency services in general - but he is continuing to send me items to post, so that'll work for now.

Oh! - to the person who wrote about a Baptist church in BSL - please send me that church's contact information and I'll be glad to contact them to post their information! Since I don't live down there, I have no clue who exists and who doesn't and must rely on people like you to get that information to me. So thank you in advance!

If you want to check out the newest blog - www.KatrinaPoliceFireAmbulance.blogspot.com

And if you'd like to see the newest arts blog - www.GulfCoastArtists.blogspot.com
It has a growing index of artists throughout the Gulf in hopes of bringing them more media attention as well as more assistance. The area is just rich with artistry and craftsmen and should be recognized as such!

Take care everyone.
Leslie

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