I will basically sum it up for you. My mother lives approximately 5-6 hours north of New Orleans. There like here in Dallas they are getting flooded with refugees from the Hurricane. So many that they do not know where they will put them all. Dallas, Houston, Monroe, Shreveport, Beaumont and so many more cities are afflicted with the same problem. These people in New Orleans and parts of Mississippi and all along the Gulf Coast have lost literally everything.
Those that managed to evacuate in time have absolutely nothing left to go back to. Some have literally escaped with just the clothes on their backs. The shelters are asking... no begging for supplies. Clothes, toiletries, and most importantly food are desperately needed. The company that I work for alone has lost track of many of their employees and have some 300 or so that have lost everything. That is just employees in the company that I work for alone. My company has pooled its resources and as they always do are taking care of their people by asking for donations of clothes, baby supplies, food, and medical supplies from the employees within the company.
I am taking much of the clothes, toys, and other baby necessities that Justyn has outgrown to our drop off point on Monday. My theory is that by the time Barbara and I have another child these will be too outdated to use and for now they are just taking up space in our storage shed. I also intend to go through my closets and take some of my own clothes and anything else I think might be needed. I can only hope that if something were to happen here in Dallas, that others would open their hearts and do the same.
I urge everyone that reads this to donate to the local Red Cross, Salvation Army or any other organization that is helping in this relief effort. I have little money to give, but I have plenty of supplies and necessities. I would suspect that anyone else aside from the homeless probably have the same.
Just a couple more thoughts. Temperatures in August in Louisiana and Texas often exceed 100 degrees, with heat indexes that exceed 110 degrees. In temperatures like that the biggest enemy is dehydration. There is water everywhere in New Orleans, but not a drop of it is drinkable. Simple bottles of drinking water would help people in ways that you will never imagine.
One more thing that I'm sure everyone in the world has... In times of disaster the Red Cross runs horribly short on blood. This is not something that should ever happen. There is absolutely no reason for a blood shortage. There are so many healthy adults out there with blood to give, if you are one of them I would urge you to find a blood drive in your area and donate!
The one thing that I retain from my days working for the Red Cross as a volunteer fire man and as a volunteer search and rescue person is that speed is essential in any emergency. Do not wait until next week to do any of this. These things are needed now! The faster these things are sent to the Gulf the more lives will be saved or helped.
That's it for now. I hope that I have at least influenced one other person out there to help make a difference. God bless you all. It is times like these that make us realize how lucky we are to have each other, and that we live in a country and a world were help is not just on the way it is there!