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burninating and more katrina stuff

Kids of Katrina fund/supplies drive

I woke up today feel dizzy and with a burning hole in my stomach. Don't know what it all means but this is certainly not good timing on the part of my body. I do not need to fall apart the day before the kids go back to school, and with the Kids of Katrina thing in full force. DJ has baseball practice today, I still haven't finished filling out all the school forms or making sure everyone has clothes and supplies arranged for tomorrow, Nat has to work at 3 and I'm supposed to be at my sister's for a bbq at 2, I desperately need to go food shopping. meanwhile still trying to coordinate a lot of things with the school supplies and all I can think about is how my stomach seems to have caught fire. Maybe all those flame wars on Fark finally got to me. Flame, fire, get it?

Anyhow. Does anyone have any idea of how many people have been left homeless by Katrina? I keep getting emails from people who have refugees (and no, I don't think that's a bad word) in their state, it seems like they are spreading out to so many states and I just wonder how many people are there who need help and how can I make the Kids of Katrina funds/collections stretch to all of the towns, cities, states that are taking in children who have nothing but what they are wearing?

I see a lot of people saying that it's useless to send clothes and goods, that what they need is money, but that is NOT the case and I know this because I have people WAITING in Houston and Baton Rouge for these kids, people telling me how much the tangible stuff is needed, that while money is good, it takes a while for the results of those donations to trickle down to them - food, shelter, water, that's being taking care of by the money, but basic needs like school supplies, little things like pacifiers and bottle liners, things that make a difference to a traumatized child like a stuffed animal or a book to lose herself in, that's what we need to get down there, as well as money funnelled through major organizations - the personal touch of having supplies and toys handed to them might make a difference between having hope and not having hope, might make a kid smile for the first time in days.

I had another idea - I'm going to go up to the elementary school here tomorrow and ask if they could have kids make cards for the kids in Houston and Baton Rouge and wherever else we get to send trucks of supplies to. You can't underestimate the worth of something like that to a child who has just been through hell.

Ok, just thinking out loud. And I was going to apologize for the blog being all Katrina, all the time and for the fact that my writing has taken a dump and I keep writing in disjointed thoughts and fragmented sentences but...nah. If you're tired of this come back some other time. Or not. I'll warn you right now, I'm going to spend the next week talking about this and begging for money and donations and looking for the good news stories and what have you - even on Wednesday, when I do my weekly musical gods post, I'll be concentrating on New Orleans metal this week (so if you have any notes or thoughts on that email me) and...running on long enough..

oh..if you are going to donate through Amazon, that is, sending me school supplies or whatnot through this Amazon whishlist, I suggest you do it by Wednesday the latest just to make sure it gets here in time. I think we might hold off on shipping until next week, just to give everyone at work and around town here to get stuff together to get on the truck - most of the kids aren't going to start school right away anyhow and even if they do, they will always need these supplies.

Anyhow, I have to go rummage for some Tums. I haven't even spell checked this post so just ignore the typos or whatever, please. kthnxbye.

Kids of Katrina

P.S. And Aaron, who is coordinating the shipping for me, just told me that some of the refugees are coming into Illinois, in fact read this. How many states are taking people in. I want to get something to all of these kids. And I don't mean to be ignoring the adults, I just always think of the kids first, just being a mother, I guess does that to you. I know Solonor said something about taking in people in Florida. And I hear Philly is taking refugees, too. So...would it be possible to get something to all these places? Probably not, but I'm going to at least try.


My state will be taking on 2,500 refugees (that's not even including the number of those who travel up here on their own to stay with relatives or friends) and housing them at Otis AFB/Camp Edwards. Boston Globe story here

I'm going to contact my fellow assistants at my job to see what sort of effort we can coordinate. Also, if you're in the Boston area, someone started a google group as a sort of relief effort hub for the area. It's right here.

More on the good news front: My 11 year old neice, along with her classmates, raised $1600 at their bake sale this weekend -- all proceeds of which will be used for Katrina relief. If a handful of 6th graders can do it, people, we adults sure as hell can, too.

No need to apologise: Your blog - this is one place that you completely rule.

Your efforts are brilliant - you seem to be more helpful and productive than any of the governments around (thats taking a global view from half way around the world).

Michele for prez ? Sensible government and relative merits of the The Sandman (both Gaiman and Metallica) might get taught in schools !

Hah. Too many skeletons in my closet.

And I am way too lazy.

awesome trogdor reference.

How could I not? My brother in Philly has a tiny little apartment. He wrote me on Friday just before Mayor Street announced Project Brotherly Love and said he could take in a small family if I knew of one that needed it. At least I have a house (such as it is). Damn my holier-than-thou brother! ;)

Hmmm... more references to 'Kristina'? Are you sure you really didn't want to name your new kitty that? ;-)

fyi, Florida needs teachers!

From www.flahurricanefund.org:

"Waivers have been initiated to allow Katrina evacuee children to attend Florida schools. No shot records or birth certificates are needed. Displaced community college, university students will be assessed in-state tuition rates. Hotline Phone number: 1-877-352-2731, operational 8am to 8pm. Also teachers are encouraged to call as there is a shortage of 2,300 teachers in Florida."

Maybe it's just indigestion.

Then again, maybe you're pregnant.

(with that last one, I'll be forwarding all my mail to the witness relocation program - which won't save my sarcastic ass for much more than three seconds)

Oregon is taking in 1000 refugees, and it looks like they're all going to be set up in an old high school in Portland, which is right across the Columbia River from where I live in Washington State.


Not sure if any are coming to Washington or not, though I suspect they would end up in Seattle if they did.

Also, a couple great bits in that article about residents just coming in off the street and helping set up cots and clear out brush around the school grounds in prep for the evacuees arrivals.

Looks like there will be enrollment in Portland schools. Not sure what all is going to be needed for supplies, but I could look into things more if you want info, Michele, or want to coordinate with someone over here.

Let me know.

Hey...I really like your website. I find it very informative and interesting. I attend the University of South Carolina Aiken as a freshman and in my english 101 class we were assigned to pick out a political blog and analyize it. I just wanted to let you know what I was up to! Keep up the good work!

I just heard we have some coming to our nation's capital. They were supposed to be here tonight, but it looks like it might be as late as Wednesday. If you want to send stuff here, I'll gladly deliver it.

I'm not sure how many refugees Indiana is taking in altogether, but I know 500 of them are being taken in and housed at Centennial Hall on the Indiana State Fairgrounds. I'm inquiring about starting a small, short-term preschool program there for the 3- and 4-year-olds who might benefit from a few hours a week of crafts, music and stories. Hopefully, it will work out; I'm a little afraid the Red Cross is too overwhelmed at the moment to be able to work with me on getting a little preschool up and running at the Fairgrounds. We'll see.

We're expecting 3,000-5,000 here in the Twin Cities. The state's mayors are already coordinating to find spots for everyone. Heck, some of our schools have been facing declining enrollment in recent years; they'll welcome the newcomers.

Congrats and thanks for all your efforts so far. Don't worry about sending anything up here, though. I'm sure we'll have everything under control.