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.

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