Trip to the Gulf Coast

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iDweeb's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 103

Hey everybody-

I was hesitant to post anything because I don't want attention but I thought it would be a good occasion to encourage people to give their time and talent to those in need. I'm about to leave on a trip to a town in the gulf coast to help rebuild houses etc.

I've found that doing these sorts of things does as much good for myself as it does for those who I share my time and talents with.

We're a good group and a close knit community here at AF and I'd like to help spread some good things!

I will be going with some members of my church for 5 days starting in the early hours on Wed. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers for a safe and productive trip.

Thanks Smile

Perhaps we could also get together some charity mods for sale in the coming months.

-iDweeb

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Jon's picture
Jon
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
I think it's great that you w

I think it's great that you want to and are going to help out. Laughing out loud It's amazing how much help and support is being sent to the region.
My one contention is that the residents affected by the disaster don't seem to want ot take up the jobs to get things rebuilt. As I understand it there are plenty of jobs available, with good pay, to rebuild damaged areas and provide support services. I've heard many stories and have known several people who went to the raea to provide support. Some were specialists in need for specific services (small engine repair, highly desired immediatly after the hurricanes) while others were general labor. I wonder why many of the local residents wouldn't take over the positions to help each other out and also make an icome for themselves.

While this ends up gong like a rant, I'd like to point out that recent news reports of audits for govt assistance shown signs of massive fraud by those requesting aid. I know there are a great majority of locals who have returned to work and are helping with the efforts, but there are also many who are still living in camp grounds, ie. in southern Missouri, or are living in expensive Manhatten hotels. The peopel I am disappointed in are those who don't seem to want ot e out of their poor conditions of the campgrounds, and those who take advantage of help by using $438/night rooms halfway across the country. I'm dissapointed in those people when there are people like iDweeb who are willing to go and volunteer their time and effort to help those people and they seem to show no appreciation for the massive efforts of help.

Sorry for my little rant/tirade, but it seems that human nature is showing it's ugly head in the midst of the generosity of the country. Sad

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Joined: Dec 21 2004
Posts: 82
No apolgies. As a taxpayer,

No apolgies. As a taxpayer, you have a right to voice your concern.
I spent several weeks as backfill for a unit down in N.O. while the members worked on their own personal disasters. Most fullfilling TDY I've done. 24 hours shifts, hunkering down during Rita, power outages at all hours of the day/night, rogue networks crashing C2.
But don't think the Fed is 100% pure, either. Many people who have applied to HUD/FEMA/et.al still haven't gotten any place to live after 6 months. "Charitable" organizations giving people false hope, and assurances from the government (local/state/federal) that Everything Will Be All Right.
It is just a bad situation and everyone needs to be patient and understanding. Many of these people blame the government for alleged mismanagement and are willing to take advantage for perceived losses.

iDweeb's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 103
to quote Don Henley, "Hi there"

Hi everyone. I welcome your comments.

There is indeed a lot of genuine loss that has happened down there, specifically to the site I am going to. The trip I am going on is a followup trip to an earlier trip where the initial "mucking" and cleanup processes were done. Indeed it is not the only natural disaster that has ever occured in these United States and I am not viewing it in that light.

The response that the govt, but MORE importantly the American people have given is truely awesome given that though. Look at how much out privately funded relief agencies and religious organizations have pitched in. I'm not a Baptist, but the Southern Baptist Convention was in the top couple of groups in terms of financial donations some months ago, right up there with the red cross etc. Many of these people live in the Bible Belt and don't have as much money as people living in the East or Western seaboards of the county. Truly a testament to the great compassion of the people in this country. What the government can not do as effectively is to give a personal touch-- trailers and hotel rooms are great, but they don't have the impact that a group of people armed with hammers and saws has. Imagine the effect that seeing this has on someone who lives there.

Sadly it is not something that the American media wishes to discuss at all. They are looking to blame certain people including the President for political gain and self-interest, and it does not suit their purposes to paint a picture of hope and the remarkable progress. Despite how much is still to be done in rural areas,

My purposes for going are to give hope and help to others in genuine need and to do something about the problem. I'm very dissapointed that many collegaues and friends of mine are angry and shout and point fingers about what could have been done better. Not saying I try to make an issue about other people's politics per se, but It hurts to see such rabid hatred on display, and it infuriates me to see these same said people doing NOTHING TO HELP.

I, like them have very strong personal convictions about right and wrong and my own thoughts on how government can be made better, but I want to convey those things respectfully and in a way that does something meaningful and wins people to my cause based on building an intellectual case for it, and living by example. Getting my hands dirtied and devoting time to my neighbors down there does that.

Both of you guys understand my view of what can go wrong down there- there are quite a few people who are taking advantage of the situation and there's no doubt BOATLOADS of fraud in the govt as well as individuals in the area.

The area I am going to is far far away from the city of New Orleans and is getting very little media attention. Plenty of people in that particular area have had quite an interruption in the process of working and making money etc to support their families-- cleaning up the mess, rebuying the basics, and fixing up things is very costly in terms of finances and time in any event. It can be even harder for someone who is older, and the enormous resources of the government and indeed even private groups is limited.

My inclination is to help and put a face on this thing and do my part to be a citizen and to share

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