Alternatives for helping Katrina victims...

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Joined: Jan 28 2004
Posts: 112

With the all the major news outlest reporting on the horrible events back east I find myself in a pickle. I'm sitting here in Portland Oregon with a roof over my head, food on my table, my fiance at my side and a cat at my feet. But I can't help but feel helpless when it comes to the victims of the hurricane. All reports and news outlets say "Donate cash..." but alas I am but a social worker at a group home for developmentally disabled adults. When I look at my paycheck I see rent, utilities, car insurance, cat food, people food and the TINY bit that's left over...my wedding in October. I've been trying to think of ways to help these people. Some ideas:

-Donate blood
-Volunteer (if possible) at some of the shelters that have been set up around the country
-Positive thoughts and prayers (depending on/according to your particular belief system)

Does anyone else have any other ideas? I think I can safely assume that I'm not the only one that budgets their paycheck down to the last cent but really feels a need to help out. What have you all done or thought of doing that might cost more in time rather than money?

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Reverend Darkness's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 502
Offer your spiritual donations...

Offer prayers, spiritual energy, thoughts, meditations, burnt offerings... whatever your religion of belief system or lack thereof requires of you.

I have little money, but I have spent several hours with evacuees who needed some spiritual support. That is what I can do.

Also, in situations like this, it is not uncommon for many to feel a type of "Survivor's Guilt". You should not feel bad for having that which you have. You should count your blessings. Those that need help are getting it (here in Texas, anyway).

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355
Agreed.

Agreed.

While these people are in quite a plight, some of the assistance they recieve are vouchers from FEMA for housing/rent and vouchers from the Red Cross for the purchase of staples and basics at stores (toiletries, food, clothing - stuff you find at Target/Wal Mart). The money donated goes to subsidize this benefit for those in need - for those who had little to begin with (before Katrina) this is actually a step up as the number of low/poverty sticken households in the affected areas was quite high. (And I do not mean to imply that everyone affected was 'poor', just a remark on the several newscasts I have seen which have only seemed to highlight the disparity in local incomes compared to the national averages what with people claiming to not have money to get a bus ticket out before hand.)

Not everyone can give the green stuff, but the red stuff is just as important, if not more so. I am happy to bleed for the cause, but the idea of volunteering at a shelter for refugees/evacuees is good and not one I had thought of.

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Jon's picture
Jon
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
Locally an old elementary sch

Locally an old elementary school is being cleaned up and given mild remodelling so that it can house 100-200 refugees that are on their way friom Huston. Several houses that were being sold were taken off the market and refugees are being allowed to stay in them. It's amazing how people are woring to find ways to house all these people!

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1687
They have Fort Ripley in nort

They have Fort Ripley in northern Minnesota all set up to house some 3,000 refugees, and there are lots of people here in the Twin Cities opening up their own homes to house people. Disaster can bring out the worst in people, sure, but it can also bring out the best.

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The Czar's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 287
Here in Canada, the Salvation

Here in Canada, the Salvation Army is asking for donations of gently used clothing, blankets and the like to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. If you've got a box of old clothes that you're never going to wear again, donating it to the SallyAm might be a good idea.

Cheers,

The Czar

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