It has now been nearly four weeks since the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. I had not yet posted on this topic because I felt ill-equipped to comment on it. I don’t live near any of the affected areas, I don’t personally know anyone who was there. I only know what I see on the news or read on the internet, which I have to admit, hasn’t been a lot because I rarely watch the news and I haven’t been seeking it out on the internet until recently.
Immediately after the devastation, there was talk on several of my message boards – people wanting to help in any way that they could. Many organized relief efforts in their own small ways. One woman volunteered to accept clothing donations and notified others in her area of where trucks accepting donations could be located. Another woman asked for donations and tried to find jobs for a displaced family who would be staying in her city. Another asked for donations for a family that was staying with her sister. A coworker of Jody’s promised to match any donations people make to him before passing the money on to a charity. Another coworker, a dog lover, is making plans to travel to Louisiana to assist with the animal rescue efforts. It’s heartwarming to see people doing whatever they can to help with the efforts.
I can’t imagine being in the situation that so many are. Many lost everything in the storm, including pets, family and friends. My heart goes out to those who were affected.
I can’t imagine being stranded on a rooftop for days, without food or water, while helicopters flew overhead. I couldn’t believe that several days after the hurricane, there were still people stuck in situations like that. How many survived the storm only to die waiting for help? It’s incomprehensible.
I decided a few days ago to start a small collection of informative links regarding Hurricane Katrina. Yes, it’s been nearly a month since the disaster took place, but we can’t forget that these people will continue to need help for quite some time. If you have a link that you feel should be included here (especially regarding any families you know in need of help or donations), please leave me a comment with it. Thank you.
I read today that many people who’ve finally been allowed back into New Orleans are now being evacuated again as Hurricane Rita approaches. I can only hope this hurricane weakens as it approaches land and doesn’t cause any more damage or fatalities.
A very brief collection of Katrina sites/stories.
Want to help?
— A Mom in the Swamp – A blogging mama displaced by Katrina
— Red Cross – Includes Family Links Registry, online donations, volunteer opportunities
— Charity Navigator – How You Can Help The Victims Of Hurricane Katrina
— Donate to the United Way
— Hurricane Katrina Timeline on Widipedia
— Hurricane Katrina and holocaust: Slow response or deliberate extermination?
— Pres. Bush admits failure on hurricane response
— Barbara Bush says things are working out “very well” for the poor refugees
— Locally, three Great Harvest Bread Company stores donated 100% of bread sales on Sunday, Sept. 11, to Katrina Relief. The stores are usually closed on Sundays, but they opened for several hours on Sept. 11 to sell their two most popular types of bread for $5/loaf to raise money. They made $26,000.
— Jody‘s work matched any contributions made by employees. The company was able to send $10,000 to relief efforts.
— Out of harm’s way – Family finds open arms in Longmont after fleeing devastation
Help for children (information from the American Academy of Pediatrics):
— Resources to Help Cope with Natural and Other Disasters – For children, parents and pediatricians
— An Open Letter to Health Care Providers Attending to Families Affected by Hurricane Katrina: The Role of Human Milk and Breastfeeding – Why it’s so important that women who are able to breastfeed do so, especially during disasters. “Human milk is a valuable resource that can not only protect the vulnerable infant from disease, but can also promote psychological health and comfort during stressful times. Human milk reduces pain and promotes more rapid healing after injuries and infections. While maternal health is of great importance, it should be recognized that even the malnourished mother will produce milk of good quality for her infant.” Also worth noting that when there isn’t clean water to mix with formula, breastmilk is always readily available.
Help for animals:
— Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue
— Pet Finder: Hurricane Katrina Updates and Links of Interest
People/companies helping with relief efforts:
— Lance Armstrong gives $500,000 to relief efforts
— Celebs donate to Hurricane Katrina relief
— More celebs donate
— Roundup of companies donating to Katrina victims
— Companies pitch in for Katrina relief
Also, human milk banks are “available to provide milk to Katrina Hurricane victim babies/children with a medically indicated need for human milk and who do not have their own mother’s milk available.” As a result, there is an increased need for donor mothers. If you have a large amount of breastmilk stored and don’t see an immediate need for it, please consider donating.
HMBANA (Human Milk Bank Association of North America).
Our hearts are with the people whose lives have been directly affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Please help us spread the word that HMBANA milk banks are available to provide milk to Katrina Hurricane victim babies/children with a medically indicated need for human milk and who do not have their own mother’s milk available. This will also require an increase in donor mothers. Help us inform interested lactating mothers, especially those in states with milk banks to call their nearest donor milk bank for further information.
Approval as a donor involves a triple screening process beginning with an initial phone screening for medical, dietary and lifestyle factors which might make the donor ineligible, followed by written documentation of their medical history and a signed medical release to be sent to both mom and baby’s health care providers, and last would be the willingess to have blood work drawn. Our screening process is similar to those used when one donates blood. I am most grateful for your assistance in this matter.
Mothers’ Milk Bank of Ohio
For more information visit: Human Milk Bank Association of North America (w/ milk bank locations)
Thank you for reading. And thank you to everyone who has done their part (big or small) to help the victims of Katrina. It’s wonderful to see the goodness in people when they band together for a common cause. Peace.