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need help to help

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Does anyone know how I would go about getting a company to donate what's necessary - truck, space, driver, etc. - to get stuff down to New Orleans if I took up a collection.

I know everyone says just give money to Red Cross, but that's not good enough. I keep reading on websites from people in the area that they need GOODS. If I could figure out what company to call, what they would have to donate, etc., I could take up a huge collection at work and send down a truckload of goods.

Anyone have experience doing something like this? Or do you know anyone in the trucking industry, maybe at FedEx or UPS?

Update: I was thinking of having what I get donated sent to the Astrodome (where the people from the Superdome are going to relocate) and especially gathering school supplies for those kids who have been displaced (and who will be doing the open enrollment thing in Texas).

Update: Already have several people contacting trucking companies for me and someone two people emailed offering to help on the ground in Houston, if I get the stuff that far.

This is wonderful. Thank you.

Another update: I've decided to focus on collecting school supplies. I don't know why. Just what my gut is telling me to do.

Well, I am focusing on school supplies because I think there are so many kids who have been displaced and are going to strange schools, with nothing in hand. I think it might give them a little hope and maybe a smile if kind strangers from all over sent them new supplies.

Oh god, how corny did that sound?

Update: A lot of people are headed to Baton Rouge, so I'm thinking a truckload of school supplies there would work, too - and I already have a contact in the area. Thanks, Dave.


Michelle, I work in the transportation industry. UPS or FedEx are not the way to go. I'm sure we can get something worked out, however due to the planning it would take, I would prefer email (benparker@elangham.com) or AIM (irmbr2things4). You can check out elangham.com to see my company. I have contacts with over 400 trucking firms in the United States. Look forward to pulling this together!

If I'm in town and I've got the time, as they say in Army of Darkness, you have my sword and my bow.

Michele, one of the charities you linked earlier, Heart to Heart, has a "guide to appropriate giving." The bottom line is that cash is easier, but that if you are going to send goods, there's a right way to do it. Might be worth reading before you get going on this.

michele- if you decide to send any donated goods to baton rouge, where most of the displaced people are, i'm here and more than willing to help coordinate the effort on this end. please email me and let me know if i can help in any way at all.

they're saying they expect the population of baton rouge to literally double (increase by 500,000) in the span of a few days. we're going to need any help you can send down here.

Michelle, you are dead on with your gut feeling for school supplies. The cities of Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Shreveport, La school boards have just decided today to enroll children of the refugees, if the parents wish it. I cannot think of anything better that hasn't been thought of. Far from corny, I think this is brilliant!

Yes, there is the call for goods. Bedding, canned goods, water. But school supplies is something I have not heard mentioned on the news here in Baton Rouge and I think that would be a great help.

You didn't sound corny at all, you sound compassionate - it's a great idea.

Joshua- if michele's plan goes forward, if you have time, let's work together on this end.

michele- can you please forward joshua my contact info in case he wants to get in touch with me?

Here's a link to an organization that is seeking donations of goods. http://gbgm-umc.org/umcor-hotline/#kits
They collect different kinds of kits. I think one is a school kit. They are specifically asking for Health Kits and Flood Bucket Kits (clean-up supplies).

Chief Wiggles works for FedEx and when the tsunami hit we arranged free shipping of goods to the area through them and operation give. We may be able to set up something similar here. I'll drop him a note.

I'm willing to do a collection/publicity job here in the Puget Sound (Seattle) area as well. If we can find a shipping method, that'd be great.

[On topic not-quite-ramble : You mentioned schoolkidz.com as a source for getting supplies--which worked wonderfully for us--perhaps a 'school kit' option should be suggested to them?]

(more thoughts) Perhaps trying to enlist your local schools to help would make sense? Decentralize storage needs until final collection for shipment, easy source of probable volunteers to help assemble packets/box for shipping...

How many displaced kids are there, and how much do they need?

How many displaced kids are there, and how much do they need?

Nobody knows yet, but it will be in the tens of thousands. if you figure that well over million total people are displaced from the new orleans area alone, it's pretty easy to see how large the number of school aged kids will be. we expect about half the displaced people will be in the baton rouge area, and the rest will scatter around the state and into texas and arkansas.

A Houston TV station is doing a food drive. They have a list of things to donate.

I live in Michigan where goods are in greater supply than money. If anyone can get a truck going from here, I have a network of greater than 1000 people who can give clothes, blankets and towels. Please let me know how we can help.

This is a good idea - school supplies won't be the first thing most people think of, and the need will probably be great enough that it will take a while to get stuff to all the kids who'll need it.

Michele, if you can email me an address for supplies to be shipped to, I'll contact my local WalMart and Target and ask if they will donate anything.

One way the school districts could ease the impact of the new enrollees would be to initiate a "buddy" system where each new student would be paired with a resident student for classes. The resident student could share his/her supplies and resources with the incoming student until the supplies arrive and get distributed.

These kids and their families will need all the support they can get...and getting them back into a familiar routine like school will help immensely.

Michele, you're a beautiful human being. And I mean that as best I can without sounding cheesy.

School supplies....kids need something that denotes stability and for many kids, school is a stable thing in that it's an 'every day' thing. Plus - pen & paper could be a great outlet for writing or drawing.

I think you're amazing. I linked to this.

I just sent people over this way from my blog. Let me know what I can do to help.

I just read the letter written by Dr. Greg Henderson, one of the physicians setting up office at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans. He said they have a need for sterile gloves, stethoscopes and suture packs and I can help but don't know how to get it to him. Can anyone help me with an address? Does anyone have an email address for any of the doctors at that location?

I live in the Philadelphia area. I was looking into organizing a drive for the UMCOR relief kits. I am contemplating the feasibility of this using regular shipping methods and I don't think it is possible. If there are any connections to trucking from Philadelphia to the UMCOR base in LA please e-mail me and let me know!
Good luck in your quest!

I am in the same predicament in Pgh Pa. Gathering school supplies for the children and wondering how to go about getting them to either Baton Rouge or Houston.I am coordinating a donation center at my daughter's school.Anyone who can help please contact me.destina369@yahoo.com

I am in the Philadelphia area and would love to start a drive for clothing and linens. Was anyone in this area able to arrange for a truck? We could use our school or church as a collection station until the actual shipping date. Please let me know about the transportation. Thanks

dr. greg henderson is a fraud. i personally was at the ritz in new orleans helping in the mash unit set up in the hotel restaurant. while the HIV docs involved did indeed do all the things greg mentioned, he played NO role in it. he did not see or help any patients. he did not go on the risky trip to walgreens to procure supplies. what he DID do was get caught red-handed stealing narcotics and other psychotropic medications for his personal use from the clinic. he was asked to leave but was seen lurking about multiple times in an intoxicated state. anyone who knows him should urge him to seek treatment for his drug problem. further, the state license board where he practices should be notified of his behavior so an investigation may be conducted so he cannot harm any patients. SHAME ON YOU GREG!