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elisadasilva
10-02-2005, 07:44 AM
I'd like to suggest that the proceeds of this book do not go to the Red Cross. As a victim of the storm, I cannot begin to describe to those on the outside how little the Red Cross has done here, especially when compared to other organizations. The Salvation Army is the first group that helped us with hot meals, doctors, so many things, just two days after the storm. Also, local churches here have made all the difference in the world. A month later they are all still handing out water, food, baby supplies, you name it. I really believe people here in this area will actually see more benefit from the book proceeds if you donate it to another group.

September skies
10-02-2005, 08:05 AM
Hi Elisa,
I was not there during Katrina but was in Texas during Rita -- and my heart aches for all of you that were in harms' way.

Anyway, I have written quite a few stories (newspaper) about the Red Cross' involvement through hurricanes. And I have interviewed quite a few volunteers who have helped out after the four hurricanes that devastated Florida last year....so, I do have a couple of thoughts on what you have written.

1. Since I come from a large giving church, I know we are always collecting offerings here (California) to send to our churches in that area. Those offerings go towards the people receiving water, food, diapers, etc. (We've also sent a few truckloads of such things as well.)
I know our church is not the only one doing this. Churches help each other out. Maybe that is why you see a constant move of supplies as they get distributed at that end.

2. I know from experience that the Red Cross is amazing. I am sorry that you feel that they have not done much. Perhaps you just haven't really seen it. There is so much that goes on that people really don't know.

Again, I wasn't there and I really don't know. But I do know, without a doubt that the American Red Cross is one of the most wonderful things there is.

My heart and prayers continue to go out to you and all those affected by the hurricanes.

God Bless You,
September

mdin
10-02-2005, 08:12 AM
While I don't doubt for a second the groups you mentioned have done everything in their power to help, and I also don't doubt how in your particular area you may have been more helped out by some charities than others, I can say the Red Cross' effort has been huge. And it continues.

This webpage lists some of the things they've done specifically for Hurricane Katrina. http://www.redcross.org/news/ds/hurricanes/katrina_facts.html

Besides, it's too late. People donated time, effort, and their work to a project that goes to a specific charity. If they didn't like that charity, then they didn't have to donate. And you can't assume people who were on board with a secular organization like Red Cross would be okay with the money suddenly being diverted to a Christian organization like a local church or the Salvation Army.

Personally I feel the same way you do about other charities, but I voice my displeasure with them by not donating.

Peace :)

Rose colored glasses
10-02-2005, 10:53 AM
I have to agree with Navigator on this one.


I'm sorry you didn't experience much help from the Red Cross. I'm surprised as they always seem to be one of the first to arrive to help disaster victims. They were a great help here when we had a natural disaster.

rtilryarms
10-02-2005, 05:26 PM
Actually, the American Red Cross, United Way and Salvation Army teamed up in the disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina. When you saw the Salvation army, you saw the results of the collective efforts afforded by the cooperative partnership formed as the result of the 9/11/05 post mortem analysis.

Giving to the Red Cross is giving to Salvation Army / United Way / Red Cross.

Basically, you enjoyed the results of good planning and highlights the philanthropic success our contribution will be to all of them. The fact that Salvation Army was there for you demonstrates how well they work as one.

This article will help but I know United Way had a better explanation when they were visiting my corporation. I just cannot find it to share.

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/09-23-2005/0004114045&EDATE=

Vanessa
10-02-2005, 06:43 PM
Actually, the American Red Cross, United Way and Salvation Army teamed up in the disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina. When you saw the Salvation army, you saw the results of the collective efforts afforded by the cooperative partnership formed as the result of the 9/11/05 post mortem analysis.

Giving to the Red Cross is giving to Salvation Army / United Way / Red Cross.

Basically, you enjoyed the results of good planning and highlights the philanthropic success our contribution will be to all of them. The fact that Salvation Army was there for you demonstrates how well they work as one.

This article will help but I know United Way had a better explanation when they were visiting my corporation. I just cannot find it to share.

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/09-23-2005/0004114045&EDATE=

Very good points.

BlueTexas
10-02-2005, 09:46 PM
While I wasn't in the storm area, the Red Cross has come to my rescue. When my house burned down, they showed up with personal care bags filled with much-needed things like toothbrushes and combs, along with vouchers for replacement glasses and clothing. When you have absolutely nothing and can't see a foot in front of your face, help like that goes a long way, and I'm proud to have the anthology benefit the Red Cross.

Poppy
10-04-2005, 06:00 PM
I know what Elisa is talking about, but I'll keep my opinions to myself because you really can't understand unless you're here, and you really can't compare this experience to any other.

Moondancer
10-04-2005, 07:14 PM
I understand how both you and Elisa feel about what's going on in MS, poppy, but rtilryarms does have some good points there. It does kind of feel like Mississippi is being treated like the proverbial "red-headed stepchild." I must confess that I was slightly offended about one remark I read somewhere about "helping the hurricane victims of New Orleans" as if no other place had been affected, including other towns and parishes in Louisiana, let alone Mississippi. I have to put those feelings in their perspective not only for my sake but for the overall good that is being done and I'm sure the statement was not intended to offend.

That, in large part, was the media's fault because they focused on that city so much. Their reasoning for doing so was sound: there was no "sensational" news in Mississippi once the hurricane had done its damage. It was a good business decision as it increased ratings and profits but it was a bad "people" decision. Between that and the political battles that immediately ensued people are grossly misinformed and misled about the overall magnitude and scope of the damage done.

My family down there (and there are a lot of them) are not complaining about the Red Cross or any other such organization but they are complaining about the lack of a FEMA presence because rebuilding will come through FEMA and it looks to be a long wait. Governmental red tape is bad enough at the best of times. How much worse is it right now with a shortage of key personnel to handle claims and inspections, then authorize monies needed for rebuilding and repairs?

My comfort is that I know Mississipians know how to survive no matter what. My father-in-law has been through so many hurricanes it's unreal (since before Camille) but he's still going and doing what he can to help his neighbors while he waits to rebuild or repair his house...depending on what FEMA says when they get there. He goes from station to station gathering ice, food, and other supplies taking them back to his area for distribution. You all are a strong and proud group of people. Never forget that.

Kim Gogo
10-04-2005, 08:51 PM
That, in large part, was the media's fault because they focused on that city so much. Their reasoning for doing so was sound: there was no "sensational" news in Mississippi once the hurricane had done its damage. It was a good business decision as it increased ratings and profits but it was a bad "people" decision.

I personally know what it's like to have the media focus on the 'bigger' story and not cover every region's sufferings, after the Ice Storm of 1998. It's unfortunate that they tend to write what they think will sell the most newspapers and not write the other details that seem to fall through the cracks.

Louisianna is getting the full coverage, whereas the surrounding states are rarely mentioned. I was dare say the same thing happened with Sep 11th...more coverage of the attack on the Towers than on the Pentagon.

It's unfortunate b/c the readers and viewers of the news stories want to do whatever they can for New Orleans--which is great--but they're not realizing that there are many others experiencing the same loss and suffering in other areas of Louisianna and the surrounding states.

We can only pray that the relief agencies are not determining their level and distribution of effort in the same manner as some of the media are in their coverage.

kim

rtilryarms
10-04-2005, 10:37 PM
excellent points!

Poppy
10-04-2005, 10:54 PM
Just to be clear, all of my opinions aren't complaints. Many of the complaints I had in the beginning have been resolved. And they were not with any one organization, but with "the system."

I think that would be almost everyone's main complaint around here. It's not that certain individuals or groups refuse to help, there's just a lack of organization, lots of misinformation and frustration. There's never been a disaster exactly like this one so there's no way to be fully prepared for it.

All that I ask of my neighbors, near and far, is to be patient and understanding with us. We're grateful, but we're also overwhelmed, frustrated, and miss our "normal lives."

rtilryarms
10-05-2005, 12:21 AM
I know the frustration Poppy et al. We went through it with Andrew. It took a while to realize that there were millions of people affected. It was even worse for S. FL because the only ways in were blocked by debris. The devestation we witnessed was mind boggling. It's a huge task. I don't think anyone was ready for that large of a disaster, and you guys are even bigger.

Yeshanu
10-05-2005, 12:39 AM
Poppy and Elisa, I can only say one thing: :Hug2:

Poppy
10-05-2005, 12:42 AM
and you guys are even bigger.

*ahem* Bigger? Yeah, well, it's all that deep-fried southern food. ;)

rtilryarms
10-05-2005, 04:06 AM
Is there a smiley with a foot placed in the mouth?

elisadasilva
10-05-2005, 06:10 AM
Sigh. I tried to post earlier but as soon as I hit submit my computer quit working.

Thanks Poppy and Yeshanu and rtilryarms. Just to clarify though, giving to the Red Cross is not the same as giving to the others. What is happening is when you register with the Red Cross they ask your permission to share information that you need help with the other agencies.

I'm not saying that the Red Cross is bad, only as Poppy pointed out the red tape (haha) has slowed their response. Ask anyone in this area who has helped them the most and the answer will almost certainly be a local organization aided by visiting volunteers, such as the Salvation Army or local churches. As the title of the thread states outright, this is simply my opinion that if you really want to be certain of helping Katrina victims there are more active organizations at work here.

Quite frankly I don't think anyone interested in helping cares if it's through a church or not. I don't go to church and before Katrina had a pretty low opinion of Southern Baptists. That didn't stop me from going to the corner where the hundreds of SB Volunteers had come and set up kitchens to cook lunch and dinner for all of us every day. They slept in tents in the parking lot, worked outside in boiling temperatures, and had a smile for everyone each time we came. What they did changed my mind. I didn't care what they believe when they were handing me a plate of food. I only cared that they were there helping everyone.

Poppy has already said it best.

But I'd like to say it doesn't matter if you give it to the Red Cross or not. What matters is that you were all so thoughtful to come up with this idea and see it through. What matters is that you care and have taken action. So thank you each and everyone who has done something for this project. Your thoughts and loving actions are a light in this terrible darkness.
dang my generator must have run out of gas.

peg
10-08-2005, 12:44 AM
I am writing, Elisa, to support you in your comments.

I am a nobody in the greeting card group, who just found out about this project yesterday. If I had known about it at the beginning, I would have raised the same objection you did.

My husband and I never give to the Red Cross. For this disaster we gave to the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and the ASPCA. (We are not religious.)

So I will buy one - and only one - copy of the book; in remembrance of what happened to you and Poppy, and what you are going through.

Neither of you owe anyone an apology, an explanation or a thank-you.

peg

Rose colored glasses
10-08-2005, 02:52 AM
Habitat for Humanity would have been my other choice.

My heart goes out to those of you in the Gulf coast. I lived through a bad earthquake, and I know only a fraction of what you've gone through.

That said..I have to be honest with you. This thread is making me really sad, because we've all put our hearts and souls into this project, and it's depressing to think that...well, it just puts a damper on it.

Moondancer
10-08-2005, 03:07 AM
I just thought I'd say that I still believe in this project regardless of the major foul-ups that are going on.

I spent all of yesterday and a good part of today sending letters to people because help is not there after all these weeks. I blame FEMA who is supposed to be managing this stuff. They tell the charities where to go and setup... those who respond to these kinds of disasters have to deal with FEMA because it's in their charters. If they don't have a charter with FEMA they don't get anywhere to any location within a major disaster area. Those of us who watch the news frequently have seen this played out in pictures dealing with Katrina. If they don't go where directed they lose their charter and the next time won't be there at all.

A lot of political pressure was used to shift the focus to one terribly damaged area and while I feel just as badly for the people in that area, there is a certain inequality of treatment that is in force. While New Orleans is negotiating billions of dollars to rebuild... something... Mississippi and Alabama are still looking for FEMA. It's going to take twice as much political pressure to shift some of that focus toward other areas needing help just as badly, if not more so.

I don't blame one political party, I blame them all because they allowed politics to get in the way of helping people in a crisis. They capitalized on the suffering of people to further their political agendas with little thought to the consequences of their actions. ALL of them. And the media. I don't have much use for politics during normal times but this, to me, is just sickening. Organizations would still be strapped because of the enormity of this disaster but it wouldn't be the TV circus it has become. Plus there's a difference between a long wait and no help at all which is what a lot of people in two other states are facing.

But, please, let's not blame any charitable organizations who are doing all they can in the face of an enormous task.

JennaGlatzer
10-08-2005, 03:23 AM
Thanks, all, for your thoughts. I'm going to close this thread only because it's too late for this right now. I'm glad to know that there are other projects going on to help other organizations. Right now I'm still focused on the Red Cross, which is who we agreed on in the first place. If their red tape makes it impossible, we may have to decide on a different charity. But until then, I don't want to put a damper on anyone's spirits.