Saturday, September 03, 2005

A roof over their head

Over a million people have been displaced due to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath according to some accounts. Hundreds of thousands of these people will not be able to return to their homes for months, if ever. Many have lost everything.

My wife and I have been talking about what we could do to help those in need. The big disaster relief organizations like the Red Cross and Catholic Charities seem to want cash donations. That's understandable I suppose. Cash is easier to handle logistically (no need to warehouse it or truck it around). But our budget is a bit thin, so what can we do?

Well, one of the things we've decided is to offer room in our home to some of the evacuees. We have a fairly good-sized house with a guest room and all. I think we could probably sleep a family of six without any trouble. I've tossed an idea around with some of our friends from church, and many of them are willing to help too. We're beginning to sketch out a plan.

We're going to try to form teams to support evacuee families. Some of us, like my wife and I, will actually house the evacuees. Others will help by providing meals, clothing, personal care items and other sundries, pre-paid phone cards, etc. We're also looking at other contacts we have to help find people jobs or other services.

I'm kind of excited by this! I think it'll really help, at least a small number of people, in a very big way. It's something that's certainly doable, especially with a whole team of people supporting each evacuee.

Any other ideas for helping with the relief efforts, other than cash donations? Anybody have experience with this kind of thing? Any advice?

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