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Old 09-02-2005, 10:59 PM   #1
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You don't have to be rich.

Since this whole tragedy started, I've been saying "God I wish I was rich, I'd ship truckloads of food and water to Louisiana and Mississippi", or "If I had a big house I'd take in a family".

I spent ten years as a volunteer with the Red Cross Disaster Relief Services, our state OES and FEMA. I've responded to disasters in the past but due to my health I had to stop, so now I feel so helpless.

I just left the Red Cross website where I donated $10.00, it's all I could afford, but it hit me, you don't have to be rich to help.

If you can afford just $5.00 or $10.00... donate it.
If your healthy enough to give blood... Give
If you have a spare bedroom... host a family.
If your not healthy enough to volunteer and have nothing to donate... Pray for them.

God Bless

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Old 09-02-2005, 11:26 PM   #2
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A beautiful post....
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Old 09-02-2005, 11:39 PM   #3
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Well said Raven,

I've nabbed my kids and DH and we are putting something together to send...A drop in the bucket I know, but, it's heartfelt.
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Old 09-03-2005, 12:06 AM   #4
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How many drops are in a full bucket?

It always amazes me to watch a rain storm, and see all the individual drops combine to form a running stream.

Every drop counts so much more than we realize

God Bless

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Old 09-03-2005, 02:46 AM   #5
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Wink

Way to go Raven, I enjoy + Posts :)
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Old 09-03-2005, 04:50 AM   #6
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Watching things unfold on t.v. yesterdaybrought me to tears. We are donating money through our Church. Wish we could do more, but as has already been said everything helps. God help those poor people.Prayers don't cost a cent and they are a powerful tool.
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Old 09-03-2005, 10:25 AM   #7
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Perfectly put, Raven.
You are such a great inspiration!
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Old 09-03-2005, 07:01 PM   #8
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we're collecting donations at work. all i do is give my spare change everyday. you'd be amazed how much you put in after 3 days.
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Old 09-04-2005, 05:26 AM   #9
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Great post, but I want to add a caveat. Why does it have to be money? I've known a few Red Cross employees who made mucho dinero, and I'd prefer to give food or bottled water, so I know what I'm giving goes into the necessities rather than the half-million-dollar salary of the person who heads up the Red Cross (or other relief agencies). I'm not saying they don't deserve it or earn it, just that I don't want to pay it. But nowhere do I see a collection point for food, water or clothing, just for bucks (which, by the way, in spite of my feelings, I have given).
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Old 09-04-2005, 05:57 AM   #10
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The Red Cross certainly doesn't want things other than cash. Another thing that worries me - they say to put "For Katrina Relief" on the check. I remember a few years ago there was a great big squabble because they weren't spending the money that came in for the purpose in which it was sent. The reason was it didn't say what it was for, so it went in the general fund. My thoughts are "if they are having the problem now, that is what the donations are for, not for some unknown future need". I don't know how much of each dollar goes for overhead and expenses. I noticed President Bush said to give to the Salvation Army and Red Cross. Each time it was mentioned it was in that order.
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Old 09-04-2005, 06:44 AM   #11
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Claire & Licia - I agree with both of you! I saw first hand what the Red Cross was like during Hugo and will never give another cent to them. I think the administrative costs for Salvation Army are much lower than the Red Cross. I hate to say that, because they've been such an institution for so many years, but if the shoe fits---

Re - where to donate items; listen to your local TV and radio stations, churches, etc. Hubbie's station just had a drive on Friday, and raised 90,000 gallons of water and $4500 cash with a donated semi and driver; they'll do the same on Wednesday. If your local stations aren't doing anything, call them up and ask WHY!!!

Contact your local Salvation Army or food bank to see if they're making collections. And also if you want to volunteer - they're training volunteers now.

If you live in an area where they're setting up camps, contact the camp to see what they need; one woman posted on my work forum that a camp in Atlanta needs things like pharmacy cards (be sure to check what local pharmacies there are), stamped post cards, underwear, socks, diapers, and infant formula.

If you can offer housing, go here to register:

http://www.hurricanehousing.org/

And - can't remember if I posted this or not -

www.secondharvest.org


We CAN all help with ways other than money; sometimes you just need to be a little resourceful!
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Old 09-04-2005, 04:51 PM   #12
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Raven that is beautiful. And true. And very well said. You have a wonderful heart. Thanks for the post.
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Old 09-05-2005, 11:03 AM   #13
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I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels ambivalent about ARC. I know they do a lot of good work, I simply don't want to pay them to do it. On the other hand, my hubby hates them, as do a lot of other military people. I simply don't have a lot of disposible income, and don't want to be paying a desk-jockey's salary. I live in a very small town, and we have a food bank, but it is strictly local. And, I might add, my favorite charity .... every few months I go to the grocery store and buy a few sacks of food. I just like the concept of giving food, not bucks -- you have no real idea of where the money goes. If my budget allows $5, or $10, or $100, then I want to know that it's going to the people who need it, not the admistrators. And I honestly have friends and acquaintances over the years who do this for a living, and I believe at least one or two of them are worth every penny they are paid ... I just don't want to pay it. When Florida had their fire disaster a decade or so ago, you could actually buy bottles --- or cases of bottles -- of water, and leave them for the flood of firemen (often who came in from other states) to pick up. A couple of times a day, support people would pick up the water bottles and take them out to a staging point so they could be distributed to fire fighters. It was a simple system ... I bought bottles of water, the water was given to the fire fighters. The local food bank is the same (although I must say they beg for money as well. Too Bad, from me they get food). It's simple. I buy food -- cans, sacks of rice, beans, grain, flour -- and someone hands it off to people who need it (and, yes, I would volunteer ... They honestly haven't needed me so far). Oh, don't forget -- if you happen to have a point where you can buy products: Canned baby formula, disposable diapers. Huge needs that most don't think of.
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:37 PM   #14
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A couple of things to consider when giving to a charity ....

IF you specify that the money you are donating is for a specific purpose .... it MUST go for that. For example, if you give money to the Red Cross or Salvation Army, or anyone else, and specify that it is for the Hurricane Katrina relief - it CAN NOT be used for administrative or any other use - it MUST go for the Katrina relief efforts. That's where the big "oops" came in the 9/11 donations - they were made "non-specific".

I've watched the Jerry Lewis MDA Telathons since I was a kid. Jerry was on Larry King the other night and explained some of this .... if you watch the Telathon today he is telling you to donate to the Red Cross, or Salvation Army .... he CAN NOT collect money for, or via, MDA and divert it to a Hurricane Katrina relief effort - money donated to a specific charitable foundation for a specific purpose can not be diverted for another purpose.
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Old 09-05-2005, 06:10 PM   #15
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alot of radio stations here are doing fundraisers and every cent goes toward the katrina relief fund. since friday my store has raised 35,000 and 100 % of that also goes to the relief fund
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