Ok, people. I'm going crazy here. I can't stand feeling like I'm sitting on my hands, doing nothing, just watching as so many people are suffering and dying. I feel like I have to do something. Now. Husband and I are by no means rich, but we are certainly blessed in that we have each other, our health, good jobs, and a healthy child. I can't help feeling guilty that I have so much when so many others have literally nothing, not even food and water.
Here's the deal. Husband and I just bought a house*. We're homeowners now. And it's big. We have extra rooms. Plural. I am a public school teacher in an excellent district, full of kind-hearted and concerned people. We live just a few states north of Mississippi and Louisiana (several hundred miles). We want to take in a family of Katrina refugees, provide them with food and clothes, let their children go to school, and help them to find jobs.
Problem is, there is so much conflicting information out there, and so many avenues of communication are still closed, that I can't find a good way to get this out there so we can let people know our doors are open. Does anyone out there know who I can contact to get the ball rolling on this? Any information you have would be so appreciated. Husband and I agree - we can't just sit here and not at least try to help someone less fortunate than ourselves.
If you have any advice, suggestions, or contact info, please leave it in a comment, or email me at:
visitjane (at) hotmail (dot) com
Or, if you have no idea what to do either, feel free to comment about what you're doing, thinking, feeling etc. I know we're all feeling helpless and scared at the moment.
*More about the house later. I don't feel like bragging today. But yay!
**Updated to add this tag for hurricane housing***
Subject: Emergency housing drive at www.hurricanehousing.org
I'm sure you've seen the horrifying images on TV of destruction left by Hurricane Katrina, and the many, many people left with nowhere to go.
You can help. MoveOn.org just launched a website, www.hurricanehousing.org, to connect your empty beds with hurricane victims who desperately need a place to wait out the storm.
You can post your offer of housing (a spare room, extra bed, even a decent couch) on http://www.hurricanehousing.org or search there for housing if you need it.
MoveOn will pass requests from hurricane victims or relief agencies on to volunteer hosts, who can decide whether or not to respond to a particular request. The host remains anonymous until they reply to someone looking for housing.
I just posted my own offer. I hope you will too, or pass this on to people you know in the Southeast:
Housing is most urgently needed within reasonable driving distance (about 300 miles) of the affected areas, especially New Orleans.