KIDS OF KATRINA DONATIONS/GOODS DRIVE
If you are looking for ways to send donations of goods yourself, please go here
for an extensive list of addresses and contacts.
UPDATE AS OF 9/26
The part of the shipment destined for Baton Rouge made it safe and sound to Dave, who then distributed the goods to the school district. That part of the misssion ACCOMPLISHED!
However, we ran into problems in Houston, thanks to Hurricane Rita. Tina had to abandon ship when Rita came through (the shipment DID make it to her house!) and, I believe, the apartment buildings where the goods were going to were evacuated as well. We are waiting to hear from Trish - hope all is well!! - and we'll keep you posted as to when things get back to normal in the Houston area so Trish can deliver the supplies.
UPDATE AS OF 9/16
The boxes of school supplies and baby items for Kids of Katrina
and other assorted sundry are on their way to Texas and LA.
Thanks to uship.com, a wonderful driver named Tim (and his cousin, whose name I forget, I'm sorry!) came to fetch the packages late this afternoon. Tim and his cousin couldn't have been nicer guys. They loaded the truck with help from my husband and by 6:30, they were back on the road again (I think they were making a little stop at Krispy Kreme first).
I'm going to work on making a list of everything we sent, plus every single person who helped, donated money and or supplies or provided a needed service.
Trish and Dave will let me know when the stuff arrives at its respective destinations.
Some pictures from the load up today:
click each for bigger.
Also today, it was decided - thanks to reader Jeanne - that the supplies I am buying from schoolkidz.com will go to the Burger Center in Austin, where about 150 kids displaced by Katrina will be starting school next week.
UPDATE AS OF 9/15/05
Things are tying up with Kids of Katrina
. We got the word yesterday that a truck will be here (at my house) to pick up the stuff - 140 boxes at last count and people are still dropping items off - tomorrow.
I'd like to give a HUGE
thanks to uship.com
who arranged for the transport of the goods and Aaron
for putting that together and dealing with my anxieties and general pushiness. I spoke to the driver yesterday; very nice guy who is eager to do something to help.
Trish will be meeting the truck in Texas. Because the Houston school district reached its limits on accepting supplies, we had to find somewhere else to send them. I, of course, panicked, but Trish just called the Chamber of Commerce to find out who needed the items the most. Trish's follow up email:
OK, I have a destination. I live in a very small town outside of Houston and I called the chamber of commerce and the shelters to find out where the needs are. The Red Cross is overwhelmed with donations and they have an over abundance of supplies right now. In Dayton, Liberty, Baytown and surrounding suburbs of Houston, they are getting less donations. There are 3 apartment complexes that are each housing 30 families each. The manager of the apartments, Susan Shepherd, said that they have NOTHING, and are last on the list to get donations and the kids have no supplies and are registering for school today. She started crying when I called her and asked her if I could get the stuff to her there. She said she would accept delivery of all the supplies and the various apartment complex staff would help unload the supplies. I told her that I would take the morning/afternoon (whatever) off and help, and make sure it got to the right place.
So all the school supplies, plus the baby items (diapers, wipes, NEW clothing, food, toys, books, stuffed animals) and lots of personal hygeine products (oh and a baby walker, and bouncy seat, and children's medication) will go right into the hands of people who need it most.
Trish has arranged for a radio station to be there when the truck arrives and she will also be taking photos, which I will post here. Trish also said that she is going to try to keep tabs on these families and maybe when Christmas rolls around, we can do something nice for them.
When the truck is unloaded there, Tim the driver will head over to Baton Rouge, where Dave
will be waiting for the enormous amount of school supplies to be delivered.
Thank you a million times to both Dave and Trish for all they have done to make this a success.
And to all of you who donated items and/or money - you've seen the pictures of just how much we have to send down. All the readers who donated, my co-workers and neighbors and family and friends - just amazing. And everything is new and top of the line, people really went all out to make these children feel good.
I want to call attention to Yvonne
, who started up her own drive in California in conjunction with Kids of Katrina. Not only did she get all her neighbors to donate, she got the PO to ship the stuff down to Trish for free and then (I hope she doesn't kill me for printing her mail):
I just ran into a nurse at target. She had just come back from San Antonio where she said the victims are being completely ignored. She told me of a lady she met. Her husband was killed in the storm. She is having a baby, due on the 30th. She also has a daughter who's 8 and a son who's 5.
She said they had bought her a cell phone so they could keep in touch and she gave me her phone number. I was scared to call, but I did and I spoke with her. She has NOTHING. She said she has nothing for the baby. So, I'm getting stuff for her and shipping her what I can, even some of my clothes (maternity and NON maternity, she happens to be my size). I'm going to post about it, so if anyone has things they can help her with, they can do so.
The nurse told me she's OUTRAGED at how the people who aren't at the Astrodome are being completely ignored, she said she called the mayor and the LA times because it's disgusting her and she's angry.
It was so crazy, speaking to someone who's actually been affected and who was left without anything. I was crying while talking to her. She sounded very grateful and it feels good to know I'll be helping, even if it only is a little.
If you are in the San Antonio area and want to help this woman (and others like her), let me know and I'll put you in touch with Yvonne.
So, I still have $1000 left to spend of the donated money and this is what I'm going to do: schoolkidz.com
(coincidentally, I gave them a plug here back in July
)has Hurricane Relief Kits for students - a ton of supplies in one package for five dollars each. I'm going to order 200 of those and schoolkidz is going to pick up the shipping tab. I'm going to pick one of the places here
to have the supplies delivered to unless you know of a specific school district in ANY state taking in kids that might need these kits.
So that's where we are at. I spent the last two days measuring boxes (so uship could get an accurate idea of what kind of truck we needed) and now labeling each box as to whether it's going to Houston or Baton Rouge. I'm going to take one last picture of what my house looks like (I've loved doing this, but I want my house back!) and then I'll take photos of the stuff going on the truck tomorrow and then it's on to Trish and Dave.
Again, thank you to EVERYONE. I'll have a more formal list of thank yous - and I mean listing EVERYONE who sent items/donated (and 99% of the Amazon orders were delivered to me on time!) to the cause. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
So you can get an idea of what was collected/bought (please note this was two days ago, and more stuff was dropped off and bought after that:
click for larger image
Update as of 9/11/05:
Everything is finally boxed. It took four people about five hours of sorting, packing, taping, labeling, stacking, etc., but it's done and the boxes are stacked almost neatly in three different rooms and we can almost walk through the house now without bumping into a stack of school supplies or diapers.
We're just waiting on an exact shipping time and then
I can relax.
I will be spending the remainder of the donated money at schoolkidz.com
, purchasing as many Hurricane Relief packs as the money will buy (probably close to 200 kits). Each kit contains pencils, eraseable marker, eraser, filler paper, pens, pencil sharpener, 2 notebooks, ruler, scissors, glue stick, pencil case, crayons, and 2 folders, for just five dollars each! Schoolkidz.com
will be picking up the shipping on this. Thank you, Steve!
Kids of Katrina School Supplies drive is just what it sounds like.
I collected school supplies from my fellow employees and my neighbors to send to Houston and Baton Rouge. Shipping is being supplied by uship.com
I have people on the ground in both Houston and Baton Rouge who will accept the delivery and get them to the schools/shelters where they are needed the most.
Thank you to the many, many people who have gone above and beyond on this already. This is definitely a group project, not a solo one. I would not be doing this if not for the generosity of so many people.
I want to mention again all the people who have helped make this possible:
My sisters Jo-Anne and Lisa and my friends Barbara and Bonnie, my husband Justin and my children, DJ and Natalie
The members and management of Absolute Gym in Merrick, NY
The employees of Nassau County District Court, NY
North Bellmore Fire Department
Please see also:
Decablog toy drive