Tuesday, September 06, 2005

What can you and your church do to help with Katrina?

This is a synthesis of all the good ideas I've heard to date...
  1. Look for an organization to match your financial donations. Many companies are offering to match Katrina relief donations 1:1 - meaning you can double the effectiveness of your donation with zero additional work. For example, dealnews will match 100% of your donation to the American Red Cross, up to a total of $5,000. Their goal is to raise a total of $10,000 including yours and our donations. Click here to read more and to donate.

  2. Mobile laundry stations. Furnish enclosed trailers with 2-3 washing machines, 3-4 dryers, and water heaters. Take those to shelters, outreach churches, etc. so people can wash their dirty clothing.

  3. Mobile homes, trailers, RVs. People need places to live. And they need them *IN* LA and MS, not thousands of miles away. Find used RVs, inexpensive mobile homes/trailers, etc. Locate those at churches, local/state/federal parks and recreation areas, or find suitable RV or mobile home pads. Partner with a local church in LA or MS to provide a parking spot and utilities (power, water, etc.) for these units.

  4. Donate cell phone minutes. 10's of thousands of people still have not been able to contact their family, friends and loved ones. Take your cell phone or a group of cell phones to shelters, effected areas, etc. and allow people to use those phones to call out.

  5. Organize job fairs. Estimates indicate about a million people will need at least temporary jobs. Get the businesses in your area together and help them understand the need to get those people gamefully employed so they can support their family.

  6. Collect school supplies and send them to major school systems in Texas. Also to everywhere in southern Mississippi, Baton Rouge LA, etc. Many school systems in Texas, most in Mississippi and most in Louisiana have a *major* influx of students to cope with. All these students need get back into school so they can have some form of normalcy in their life.

  7. Organize groups of tutors. See above. These same students are going to need lots of help getting up to speed in school and keeping up. I hesistate to say it... but LA did have the 49th ranked school system in the US. Lots of kids there are going to need lots of help assimilating into schools with higher standards.