Saturday, September 03, 2005

Relief from Banevolent Planet

Listening to the mayor of New Orleans, imagining all of the other mayors of all the towns hit by Katrina, feeling the sorrow, I look for relief.

I find it in the Banevolent Planet web site.


It is filled with wise and generous ideas, like:

• Pool efforts with family and friends, or community, school or faith groups, to make disaster aid kits for Operation Blessing. Find instructions here.

• Give blood. When Red Cross teams are deployed to disaster areas, especially for extended periods, blood drives often take a back seat -- until the supply is critically low. Keep the help flowing by donating before it's a crisis.

• Volunteer time with your local Red Cross, animal rescue or other responding organization to free up staffers to go to the Gulf Coast or to replace those who are already deployed.

• Write a letter to your local newspaper calling for community participation via donations or a fundraising event.

• As soon as mail delivery is restored, send cards or notes of support -- and include notes and drawings from children -- to refugees staying at the Houston Astrodome: Astrodome, 8400 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77054.

• Contact your congressional representatives and let them know if you prefer your tax dollars to go toward the hurricane relief and recovery effort instead of a tax cut or war escalation. You can find other federal expenditures that you would like to redirect to relief efforts at Citizens Against Government Waste (click on 2005 Congressional Pig Book).

• Do your online shopping at and designate relief organizations AmeriCares or Noah's Wish as your recipient charity; up to 26% of your purchases will go to your chosen organization, at no additional cost to you. Similarly, you can shop at to direct funds to America's Second Harvest.

• Check with churches, temples or mosques in your area to see if they are collecting goods or need help sorting. Also check with your area Lions Club.

• Identify people in your community who are trying to reach missing loved ones and do a kindness for them.

• Ask your community leaders to organize a candlelight vigil.

• Commit to conserving gasoline, at least for awhile. Share rides, consolidate errands, use public transportation, ride a bike, walk.

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