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, October 26, 2006

October Updates From Leslie

I've almost finished with my Make a Difference Day project. 90% of the information is posted. I still have pictures to edit and then post and then it's just about finished. I have also placed links of all the agencies I am working with on all of the relief blogs. That gives everyone 8 extra hits when they submit their sites to search engines. The more times you are linked and indexed to other sites, the higher your ranking. There are about 54 in all. I do have 1 more to add, but am getting there. I may have found a way around Blogger so I can list the organizations without having to send a thousand emails. I'll post it in the Marketing post if I am right. If not, plan on a weekly email with new agencies that are agreeing to post all of the others. If you would like to submit your site to search engines for free, I have placed the link to the site I use at the bottom of all the blogs, along side the ad I am required to have for a free hit counter. I don't post that information because it's only used for when people ask me how many hits a day I get. 100/day and rising. I have also updated the MetaTags. Ugh. I don't know why that's such a bother, but it is. I hope to have the new Agency Of The Week up tonight, after photos. We'll see what happens. If not tonight, then tomorrow. It will be the Waveland Animal Shelter, just so you know. I have about 30 photos to go through today as well, so be patient. I sent out the HTML of the agency links to all those agencies I know of. #1 - if you did not get the information and would like it - email me @ KatrinaCoalition@aol.com. #2 - if you are an agency that would like to be included on the list, email me. All I ask is that you put all of those I have listed and will send to you on your site. We could be an incredibly powerful force to reckon with if we banded together. I think the first step in that direction is to link all of our sites together. Other than that, not much going on. Weather is turning from rainy but warm, to rainy and cold. My wild cat, Cicero has decided to be completely distrustful of humans. I'm sad, but he's almost completely grown up now, so at least we got him through the critical period. I'll keep putting food out for him until he stops coming for a full week. Trapping him is out of the question, which makes me sad too. It'd like to get him indoors for the winter. Oh well. Life goes on. Take care all and update me when possible.

Well, fall is rapidly turning to autumn. Most leaves are off the trees and the weather folks are threatening snow showers for the next week. Mild winter. Uh huh.
My asthma is killing me, but ever since the "Hornet Event", that's the way life is.
I've finished another quilt. 2 down 2 to go and then start another round. It keeps me out of trouble.
I have started a new feature on the Katrina Networking blog. Since I started out by helping Hancock County, MS, I want to return some of the focus to them. It will be a post at the top of the blog called "Agency of The Week". It will feature local not-for-profits first, then the municipalities and then the agencies that have come in to assist in the recovery effort. It should take a full year to go through all I have right now, not including those that continue to pop up over time.
I am also hoping to start another this week - the "Letter of The Week". Most are already posted on the KatrinaAdvocate blog, but people are starting to ask aloud how to stir up some support. So, like the agencies, I'll post them in a more prominent way. Plus I have some that have been ruminating in the brain, but not yet made it to paper.

The new blog looms overwhelming, but the needs is huge. Over half of the families who have emailed me haven't had Christmas or birthdays since Katrina - and yet they consider themselves as "doing ok". I always end up wanting to give away the house, but I can't considering it isn't mine to give. LOL
If you know of someone who could use a little (or a lot) of assistance, have them contact me. If you work for a volunteer agency that has lists of families in need, go to www.RealPeopleRelief.blogspot.com for the questionnaire and start sending me the information. I'll post them as I receive them, or 1 a week, depending on how overwhelmed I get. The questions are basic and non-intrusive, so there should be no invasion of privacy issues.

Update me when you can. I love to hear from you.

Good Sunday Morning to you.
I am remaining amazed at human nature. Gina got her emergency box from me yesterday, and her gift card from a woman who wanted to help, AND Katrina's Angels chipped in and will help her from their latest shipment of supplies. WOW Life is just so incredibly good sometimes, ya know?
I also made a decision to postpone my latest blog until the MAD Day in order for the efforts of the Gulf Coast to be recognized. Since it takes a solid 2 weeks to get one up and running anyway, this is not a big deal. www.RealPeopleRelief.blogspot.com
If you are an organization who assists folks that are having any trouble and you can't supply all of their needs, please visit the blog for the questionnaire and then send it on in to me at KatrinaCoalition AT aol DOT com. I will add 1 family per organization per week, so prioritize, OK?
Also, if you are an individual, you can send the questionnaire in on your own. That's fine. You may not get posted first thing, but I'll do my best.
I sent an email to all of the groups I am working with last night @ 530. By 11, I had 3 already. It's very scary, but it just really shows how needed this work is!

Snow fell here in NYS, but fortunately, over only a 4 county area that is far away from me! I can do without 2' of snow in mid October. That's for the Rocky Mountains, not NYS.

Am almost finished with my latest quilt. Will post a picture of it next week. I hope to have it finished today - that's how close I am.

Had 2 incredibly killer dizzy days this week too. Not sure why, but the only pattern to it is Fate. So, that's life I guess.

Take care and sign up for MADD! Katrina's Angels already has, and you have 2 weeks left to get the word out through the MADD website.


Hey Everyone.
I want everyone to take note - you need to sign up for this! First, it allows you to hopefully get some funding to continue your work, but at least as importantly is that it makes people more aware that the situation along the Gulf Coast is NOT back to normal and that help is still needed so badly.

I have signed up under Katrina Networking and have included all organizations as specifically as I could so that if you didn't sign up, you're still noticed! And if you do sign up, you're in more than once.

http://www.makeadifferenceday.com/ - the home page

http://usaweekend.com/diffday/tools/entryform.html a PDF file to print out your registration form - you don't send it in until AFTER the day.

http://www.mindshares.org//MADD2006_DAYtaBANK/MindShares_Register.cfm - a Database of organizations who are doing something on that day - or highlighting their on-going work. This is where you need to put your information NOW. even if you don't enter for the funding, this is another place to make your presence known and hopefully get some volunteers/funding/materials.


You all know me. I don't take on individual causes often enough to say so. I'm here for general information and to highlight the groups who DO work with individuals. But, Gina is one of the few that I've decided to help. She's from NOLA and is a lab tech who just got laid off. Can you imagine a health care system in such disrepair that it has to lay off the very people who do the lab work to diagnose problems? Amazing.

Anyway, she's a single mom of 2 teens. She was already barely scraping by when she got laid off. She has a per diem job lined up, but that isn't every day and it isn't steady work. She is one of the vast number of very proud folks who needs a hand. I know that place because I've been there before and in many ways still am. So, I'm going to do what I can to rally a few troups and help her out.

Other than that, not much going on in life. The weather is great, but allergies are keeping me indoors, which is incredibly unusual. So, I'm sewing another quilt, doing some electrical work, and maybe start installing the handrailing that's needed to be put in for the last month.

Let me know if you sign up for the Make a Difference Day. I'll put it on your page.

10/12 From Terry with Hope Haven Comments about the need for real help:

We saw that many organizations have established case management services but have no discretionary funds to actually give out to a family or to pay to purchase a family something. It seems like the money is being spent on positions....but there is not much actual dollars to really help. People tell us they are being referred to all these different agencies...which takes time and effort and money....but little real help. I am talking about small needs...but real needs such as a baby bed or crib, car seats, emergency money to keep the electric bill on due to an unexpected shortage of funds, school clothing/uniforms...shoes, emergency food beyond the basic canned goods...that kind of stuff.

Hey everyone!

I am back from Baltimore. Dizzier for the wear, but no worse than some days.
If my spelling is off, please forgive me. I have a hard time following the spell checker thingy when the dizzies are up. And, I don't spell as well as I could when the dizzies are up as well, so it could be creative phonics here.

Even with being gone, I was able to continue working on the blogs. I'm sure it doesn't appear to be significant progress with them, but I have added or updated at least 2 items per day throughout the 8 blogs. So - work is keeping me busy and I know it's being well-read. Just not as focused on the 3 towns as it once was. More topical focus, but still working within the 3 towns and the county.

Have made several new contacts for the work with the artists and the emergency services personnel. Very cool!

I would like to take a brief moment to suggest ways of helping. Things down there are at least as bad as when the hurricane hit.
0 tax base means 0 can be done by the towns and county. No new hires, no replacing employees, no infrastructure improvement/replacement.
There are precious few jobs, very few for the skills available and virtually no way to learn new skills for the jobs that are there.
No tools and no money to buy tools makes working on your own house incredibly difficult. Trying to get a job in construction without the tools is also a wee bit difficult.
Trying to live on fast food jobs that have increased pay by maybe 50% when living expenses have tripled - not so easy.

10/4 - this is what I'm talking about! What a great way to help the area in so many ways!
Students to rebuild as they learn trades
Tuesday, October 03, 2006 By Valerie Faciane
At least 300 young adults will be trained in construction crafts as they help Habitat for Humanity build affordable homes for low-income residents, thanks to a federal grant that will be awarded to a local faith-based organization this week.
Rest can be read at http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/neworleans/index.ssf?/base/news-6/1159856671210530.xml&coll=1

So - life hasn't improved much, if any.

Most of the vegetation has died - all trees are dead from the saltwater. They are widow-makers, waiting to fall during a storm, a windy moment, or just because today is the day. Lumberjacks and tree removal services are badly needed. But again - training, tools, insurance, etc. means locals just can't get into the action. They still NEED portable saw mills, chain saws, safety equipment.

How can you help?

Get your church to sponsor a skilled worker. Plumbers, electricians, lumberjacks, roofers, plasterers, flooring specialists are all needed in very large numbers. The Albany, NY Catholic Diocese sponsored 6 electricians for around 3 weeks. Those guys were hugged and blessed more than they could have imagined! They also did extra work because they saw how badly they were needed.

Collect stuff. Sounds a little stupid, but so much is needed. Boxtops For Education, Labels For Education, Uniform clothing for the kids, PENS, pencils, whiteout, ink cartridges, etc. Pet supplies - collars, leashes, bedding, treats, toys, supplements, food, meds, etc. Light bulbs! Most of these items can be lightly used or new - so little or no money has to be spent.
When your church does food drives for the local food pantries, ask if they'd be willing to give 10% to a food pantry down south and that you'll pay for the shipping. Light, basic items such as cereal, dried potatoes, dried beans, oatmeal, GRITS, etc are cheap to ship and so needed.

Send a small donation. $5 is small. We all know that. $5 a month is also a small donation. So, think about it. Donating doesn't mean to JUST the Red Cross anymore. I have a list as long as your arm of local charities to donate directly to. All areas are covered, so you can take your pick. Believe me, what you send will make a huge difference.

You don't need to go. You don't need to step that far out of your comfort zone. But they really do need some more help. Imagine yourself in their position. Proud, but have lost it all. How do you graciously accept the help just to keep you in survival mode?

Take care and write when you can.



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