If you want to make a small donation of $10 to the redcross text: REDCROSS to 90999. Really, that's the minimum all of us should do. Times are tight but we can all afford at least $10. If you want to make a bigger contribution and can afford it please go to their website. Or if you have the time head north to help first hand, something my wife and I talked about me doing. I have a friend from New York who every time he came down post Katrina for a Jazzfest or a poker tournament volunteered to do something in Mississippi or Louisiana.
As I made mention in my last blog, I believe there is a lot of lingering resentment from Gulf Coasters to those small few idiots that questioned why people would rebuild down here. Those trolls in the media and on the messageboards didn't speak for the country however, though it's hard to not remember their voices above the rest.
The fact is a far bigger number of people in our country donated time, money, energy, and whatever they could muster to help in Katrina's disaster relief. We need to remember that in our time of despair the thousands, maybe millions of people that reached out to us and return the favor, not focus on the others.
I know a lot of people in the impacted area, having grown up in Delaware and going to school with a lot of Northeasters. From what I could make out on Facebook it looks like at least one of my very good friends lost everything. He lived on the Jersey shore.
He and his wife when they got married started their life together in her home city of Chicago with the plan they'd move to his home state of New Jersey in a couple of years. They just moved back and now they've lost it all. His wife posted a picture of a wedding picture that was waterlogged stating she was still glad they moved.
My friend is a super generous guy. When my best friend in New Orleans, Toby B, was murdered in a hit and run accident a few years back, my friend from Jersey donated a BIG check to Crimestoppers to help find his killer. He had only met Toby once or twice.
I'm sure that's representative of many charitable acts on his part. I've seen him urging his neighbors to get out and help one another. Knowing somebody going through this firsthand makes it rougher.
I've included two pictures of his house with the water high enough for the first floor to be a total loss. Again, he's one of thousands. We know how quickly mold and mildew on the drywall can set in once the water has been sitting there even for a short amount of time. We also know the headaches dealing with an insurance company in the weeks, months and years ahead.
As a boy, I'd spend a week or two every summer in Ocean City, New Jersey with my friend's family. Riding bikes up and down that sliver of land, hitting the boardwalk and the rides, in a safe "family" town are cherished memories. I watched CNN do a helicopter fly by and saw most of that city under sand and water. It hurts to know a chunk of geography and people that I think back on so fondly will have to endure the hard slog ahead of them.
Sorry, for the solicitation for charity but I think it's important we all do our part. Sometimes we live in a bubble, and I think aspects of the handling of Katrina made us feel we were out on our own, but to a large degree we weren't.
If we can think back to everything the citizens of this country did for us, and try to ignore where government failed us, or the trolls slandered us, we'll dig deep and help out our brothers up north.