Monday, September 05, 2005

Yes, I'm a little late...

...but it doesn't matter. Please contribute monetary donations for Hurricane Katrina victims to the Red Cross, or, if you're near the refugee areas or disaster sites, volunteer . There is especially a need for anyone with medical experience (bring your credentials, please) and people with senior leadership skills. Contact the Red Cross to find out specifically when you will be needed. The fear is that the volunteer effort will drop off after a week or a month, but the need will not, so please try to follow the organization's schedule. If you choose to contribute money, save your receipt! Some companies offer donation matching, but they can't match your donation if you don't have your receipt. And if you can't donate money or time, go donate blood!

If you are in the Houston area, contact your local schools, charitable organizations, and food banks to see if they are holding any donation drives. Do not take your donation directly to the refugee areas unless specifically directed by Red Cross to do so. Many schools are hosting refugee kids and are accepting donations at those locations. The following are a list of needs that you may be asked to donate:
Clothing (all sizes, from baby clothes on up)
Shoes (tennis shoes, sandals, etc.)
Toiletries (toothbrushes, deoderant, shampoo, etc.)
Feminine products
Nursing pads
Baby wipes
Formula and bottles
School supplies (including backpacks)
Medical supplies (latex gloves, bandages, medical tape, alcohol, antibiotic ointment)

Please also keep the volunteers themselves in mind. Many have been working for three straight days, and all they want is someone to get them a cup of coffee, but there is no coffee to be had, nor any coffee machines.

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