For the past couple of days I have been enrolling people with FEMA using their website. My number is being passed around in shelters and people call me and I go online and get them signed up for assistance.
Last evening I was on the phone with this woman, Nicole, who was here in D.C. at a shelter and was getting her registered. She sounded nice and had two girls ages 7 and 4. A single mother. After speaking with her and listening to her concerns regarding living in a shelter with two daughters not knowing who they are sleeping next to, I told her I had two guest bedrooms and 2 guest bathrooms as well as an entire floor my husband and I rarely use that she and her children were welcome to. I stated we had two dogs in the event someone was allergic as well as the fact my home was a non-smoking one. I could have been at the armory within an hour to pick her up. She said she couldn't come because she smokes. I said okay, stunned, and finished registering her.
When I got off the phone I just sat back and thought about it. This woman passed up leaving a shelter where she has to deal with very valid concerns regarding her and her daughters well-being so she could be where she could smoke. *sigh* I think that was one of those instances where God sends you pebbles before he hits you with a brick. I would have hated to have her in my home doing something crazy so I'd have to kick her butt and put her out later.
The volunteer who was letting her use his phone to call me said he would bet she was a drug user from her demeanor and that she was actually the woman whom I had seen on the local evening news who looked a bit special.
We all want to help, I know this. Let's just be careful and watch for those pebbles.
This morning I got a call from the friend of ours whom had left to get her family from Mississippi after just having surgery on Tuesday. They decided who was going where and she ended up bringing back her neices 12 and 13 from Mississippi where they were suddenly homeless. She didn't have anyone to help her drive and was exhausted and in pain. She couldn't take anything for the pain...because she had to drive.
I got off the phone with her and called my best girlfriend, Noreen. We decided we'd drive out to meet her in Atlanta and take over the wheel from her so she could get some rest. We called our friend, told her the plan and were on the road an hour later (Noreen lives 40 minutes from me).
These children have the most heart wrenching story. They need our help. If you want to help them, send me an email and I will send you their information. They will need clothes, shoes, assistance with finding a school, medical attention, and, most importantly, friends their age. At ages 12 and 13, they are unnaturally quiet. *sigh* An indication of what they've been through. Let's give these girls the support system I know we can provide.
On a much lighter note, the plea I made to my neighbors on yesterday was met whole heartedly. When I returned home and hour ago (yes...I got lost getting out of D.C. AGAIN! Shut up Celeste and Donald! LOL!), I had bags, upon bags, upon bags of toiletries, clothing, baby supplies, and bedding piled up. All of the donations have filled up my front room which is a pretty nice size room. Tomorrow I am going to take as much as my truck can carry to the D.C. Armory (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/02/AR2005090202176.html) in preparation for evacuees whom are arriving sometime this week. I am going to put a big THANK YOU sign on my door so my neighbors may see how much I appreciate how much they did for my people. The people of the South.
I know you are tired of my begging, but I'm not tired of begging you. If you are in an area where some evacuees are headed....take them some much needed supplies and clothes. Keep in mind that what you give them will be their only possessions for a very long time so show them the diginity of giving them things you yourself would use pease. If you are not in an immediate area DONATE TO THE RED CROSS NOW! 1-800-HELP-NOW!
We can't depend on our government to take care of these people...WE HAVE TO DO IT! 1.3 million people had to evacuate New Orleans. People from all races, ages, and economic circumstances. They are ALL going to need us to step up and prove that we believe what we have been saying about ourselves for all this time...that we care about our fellow man...that we are good people.
In rode the troops, with plenty of food and water and medicines, and for sure with firepower enough to make fast work of any armed-thug types who might choose to feel trigger-happy, and conditions last night in New Orleans were well on the way to being measurably improved. Thousands of storm victims were getting themselves evacuated from the hellhole Superdome. Thousands more were safe in shelters in Houston and Dallas and San Antonio and elsewhere. The airport was open, and medevac planes were regularly lifting out the desperately ill.
Sadly - maddeningly, and indeed infuriatingly - help arrived not soon enough to spare the wretched souls of New Orleans from miseries and horrors they were forced to endure for entirely too long. President Bush himself snapped that the federal government's disaster-response performance had been "not acceptable."
But yesterday, visiting the stricken Gulf Coast before signing off on more than $10 billion in preliminary aid, he made a point of publicly thanking Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff and Federal Emergency Management Agency boss Michael Brown for their tireless work. What tireless work? The weasel Brown said the anticipated high death toll is "going to be attributable a lot to people who did not heed the advance warnings" and get out. Such compassion. Such stupidity. Many of them had no means of escape. And so they stayed behind, trapped in a doomed city as the lights went out and the poisoned waters rose. As for Chertoff, if this is the best his department can do, the homeland is not very secure at all.
It is absolutely outrageous that the United States of America could not send help to tens of thousands of forlorn, frightened, sick and hungry human beings at least 24 hours before it did, arguably longer than that. Who is specifically at fault for what is nothing less than a national scandal will be a matter for the postmortems.
It will never be known exactly what a day could have meant to so many unfortunates whose lives came to an end in those hopelessly tortured hours - on scorching roadsides, for lack of a swallow of water; in sweltering hospital beds, for lack of insulin. But what is already more than clear is that the nation's disaster-preparedness mechanisms do not appear to be in the hands of officials who know how to run them.
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My apologies to all whom wrote and called me on yesterday and didn’t get me.It was a dark day in my home and I needed to sit quiet with my thoughts. I thank you for your concerned messages and your prayers.
I think I’m through talking for now and am going to focus on doing.But I want you guys to hear a few stories of people that I actually KNOW who are doing what they need to do to help their people.
We have a friend from home (
) whom lives in D.C.She had surgery early last week and her mother was here with her during her recovery. Her sister and brother, nieces and nephews were in
.She heard from them and found they’d had nothing to eat or drink since Monday and she and her mother got in the car and headed out immediately to get her people.I’m glad to say everyone was alive and they are currently on their way back to D.C.She will need help and if you’d like to help her, once I speak with her again and make sure it’s okay to give out her information, please contact her and help.
I know countless people, regular citizens with limited resources (unlike our government) whom had done the same, just rolled out and went to see about people.Robby, as you know, is on his way with a truckload of food, water and other supplies.He has seen lots of people on the way doing the same thing.Taking what is needed out to our people.They came to the same realization we did. We have to do what we have to do because the government has failed us miserably.
Finally I need to share with you the story of Ms. Carolyn Inge.Cojoe’s mother.She evacuated to Cojoe’s home in
and had 15 people in the house on Tuesday.As of last evening, she has 25.She’s the kind of person who will not turn anyone away.She is going to the shelters and the Astrodome still helping other people, coordinating food and clothing collection and distribution, making sure people know about the resources available to them.She is going above and beyond out there in
for our people as she always has.This is why I love her so much.She has the biggest heart of anyone I know as I, too, have benefited from her giving nature just about every day of my life.Just think of General Honore’ as a woman.That’s Ms. Carolyn.My
That said, if you want to give to someone and KNOW that your money, food and clothing is actually being distributed to people the media has forgotten, please send money and supplies to:
Ms. Carolyn Inge
13611 Braydon Bend Drive
I am going to collect clothing and bedding supplies in my neighborhood today and go to the post office and ship out what I can.Hopefully there will be some type of bulk rate special I can take advantage of because of the crisis.
I’m sorry but I’m going to start begging.I BEG of you to send money to the Red Cross (1-800-HELP-NOW).Take clothing and food to churches that are organizing to send supplies to the evacuees (I refuse to say refugees…THERE
NO AMERICAN REFUGEES! GRRRRRRRR!).Don’t wait as the government did.Do it
!And don’t send things that can’t be used.Show these people some dignity.They can’t use the old chenille robe you bought in 1976.This is not cleaning out your closet to throw things away.This is donating things to people who will actually use them and will be their only possessions for a long, long time.
I’m not going to talk about Bush.But just as he stated he’s not going to forget what he’s seen.I’m not going to forget either and NEITHER SHOULD YOU. To quote Stevie Wonder...."SHAME ON YOU!"
I wanted to tell you about these people because you’re not going to see these people on the news.They are not glory hogs.They are helping because human nature requires us helping.Remember…we need to pay attention to our surroundings.We need to be AWARE and therefore do what needs to be done.So many people are and I think it’s important to know that the plain everyday Joe and Janice are helping as much as they can.
The people displaced are going to be displaced for a long, long time.Remember that too.
P.S. Where the hell is Oprah, Bill Gates, etc.?
P.S.S. Pay attention to what Tiger Woods said and let me know if you were as disappointed in him as I was....Okay....I'm not going to talk about it. I promise. (Smoke is billowing out from my ears.)
P.S.S.S. I'm not EVER going to forget Soleda O'Brien either. That woman did more to demonize our state officials in the beginning of this than anyone else in my opinion. I see today that CNN is probably reacting to the flood of complaints we sent in regarding her because now her azz is reporting from the New Orleans airport instead of from her cushy, lofty, judgmental desk.