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"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14

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Friday, September 02, 2005

Something different to today's FFT (lots of links to help the victims of Katrina) UPDATED 10:52PM

I will be updating the links as I find them. Also stories of heroism and interesting stories of how corporations are helping are located at the bottom of this post.
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With the devastation in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida going on in our back and front yard, we are going to have a field trip to some places where you can donate money, etc. to help out these victims of a hurricane's wrath and the desperate aftermath including violence from the roving street thugs who are out there raping and murdering with impunity, not to mention the latest with the chemical plant explosion this morning.

If you can't give money, give your time at the local charitable organizations in your area. They need help to pack supplies, etc. Austin is designated as an overflow city and here in Austin there is an overflow shelter at an activity center where there are some 200 families already housed there with more expected to come in this weekend as the Astrodome is now at capacity and turning people away. I am going to look into volunteering there for a few hours a week.

Aside from the heartbreaking story of the man whose wife was literally ripped from his arms, this one truly broke my heart the other day...there was, on the news, a little 3 year old black child who was very sick, dehydrated, lethargic, his mother was holding him as he listlessly flopped in her arms, trying to shelter him from the sun's harsh rays with her body as much as she could b/c there was no shelter to be found. She was pleading to the news crew for water, for food, anything to help her child out. He had not had any clean water to drink in days. What a horribly desperate situation! I thought of that little boy and of my own Emily who is also 3 and I think of what I would do in that situation. I can only thank God that that is not my family and pray for those who are caught in that horrible situation that relief, food and water be brought to those hurting and hungry families, especially those with children, right away.

When it comes to the thugs who are roaming the streets with their guns ( many of which are stolen), terrorizing those unable to defend themselves against the brutality of rape and murder and beatings, whatever needs to be done, should be done to stop them. I think it is the right thing to do, to defend the weak against those who would prey on them in order to satisfy their lust for flesh and blood. New Orleans and the surrounding parishes have turned into a true third world country in the span of a few days. It reminds me of some of the scenes in Black Hawk Down with the roving street gangs under the rule of the warlords in the area. It must be stopped and stopped now, by whatever means necessary. I truly hope that once the National Guard, military, etc. gets in place that the terrible violence will stop.

Anyway, here are the places that you can contact to donate your money and/or time:
Although government and private agencies are en route to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina, federal officials said people wanting to help should not head to the affected area unless directed by an agency. Instead, people are urged to make cash contributions to these groups:
* American Red Cross, or (800) 435-7669; (800) 257-7575 in Spanish.
* Samaritan’s Purse; Phone (828) 262-1980
* Salvation Army, (800) 725-2769.
* Feed the Children - Hurricane Katrina
* America's Second Harvest, or (800) 771-2303.
* Catholic Charities, (703) 549-1390.
* Operation Blessing, (800) 436-6348.
* Southern Baptist Convention -- Disaster Relief, (800) 462-8657, ext. 6440.
* Adventist Community Services, (800) 381-7171.
* Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, (800) 848-5818.
* Church World Service, (800) 297-1516.
* Convoy of Hope, (417) 823-8998.
* Episcopal Relief and Development, (800) 334-7626, ext. 5129
* Lutheran Disaster Response, (800) 638-3522.
* Mennonite Disaster Service, (717) 859-2210.
* Nazarene Disaster Response, (888) 256-5886.
* Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, (800) 872-3283.
* United Methodist Committee on Relief, (800) 554-8583.

Here are some more links that I've gathered from online if you want to look into these as well, some are very interesting like Whole Foods and Great Harvest Breads as well as Brett Favre's organization among countless others...

*Network For Good -- A nonprofit organization that has a page on its site devoted to listing different types of groups to whom you can donate besides the Red Cross -- including the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (rescuing pets), Charity Hospital of New Orleans, Salvation Army, and Operation Blessing.
*Storm Aid - run by Clear Channel in conjunction with the Red Cross.
*Mercy Corps -- Formerly refugee-focused organization that now focuses on helping find long-term solutions for families living in poverty.
*Hurricane Housing -- This is a housing clearinghouse trying to match people made homeless by the storm with available beds and rooms and couches located within 300-500 miles of the Gulf Coast.
*The Chicago Tribune's McCormick Foundation -- This group is matching 50 percent of each dollar of donations made through their site (up to two million dollars). All donations go directly to hurricane relief organizations.
*Give Life -- A blood donation site that helps get quick appointments at clinics near where you live.
*The Humane Society of America -- The link takes you to its disaster-relief fund.
*Noah's Wish -- An animal-rescue facility, critical because so many people are being forced to leave their pets behind or make Sophie's Choices between several.
*Southern Mutual Help -- Appears to be a for-profit organization that aims to help rebuild disaster-stricken rural areas.
*Ronald McDonald House -- There was a Ronald McDonald House on Canal Street in New Orleans that probably will need some major help. The families staying there have children being treated for cancer and other serious illnesses at nearby hospitals. I haven't heard anything specific on the news, but it seems like both the families staying there and the building itself will need help. I don't know the URL for the Ronald McDonald House in New Orleans, but donations can be made to the national office. You can also find contact information for your local Ronald McDonald House there.
*St. Vincent De Paul -- A reader shares, "My alma mater of LSU has recently been turned into a makeshift shelter for evacuees. Our local chapter of the Red Cross is up to capacity with donations and has asked that funds be sent to the St. Vincent De Paul Dining Room. These folks are working overtime to feed the thousands of people taking refuge in the capital, and I'm sure donations would be much appreciated. Unfortunately everything must be snail-mailed, but the contact information is located online."
*Some local branches of the Great Harvest Bread Co. in Southern Minnesota are donating all of Saturday's proceeds to hurricane relief; I suggest you contact your local branch to see if they, too, are participating.
*Whole Foods Market -- Apparently you can buy donation coupons at the chain's stores, and Whole Foods will apparently match these donations up to $1 million. Proceeds go to the American Red Cross. Click the link for more information. The supermarket is also implementing a job relocation plan for people who worked in its damaged locations.
*Brett Favre: New Orleans has been the focus of most of the stories, but other regions have been blown away and left in ruins. Favre, the Green Bay Packers quarterback, is a Mississippi native whose Fourward Foundation is taking donations for the victims. Click the link to find out how to contribute.
*DonorsChoose.org - A reader says, "Right now they're participating in the Amazon Challenge, in which a group of charities is competing to receive the most donations until Sept. 30, because Amazon will then match those donations. DonorsChoice just sent out an e-mail this yesterday saying that all donations to the Amazon Challenge for the next week will go to Hurricane Katrina-related projects, such as a 4th-grade class that wants to replace lost school supplies for another class in the region."
*Food for the Astrodome - A reader from Houston writes, "I am a volunteer in the Houston area for the displaced New Orleans evacuees being housed in the Astrodome. If you would like to donate money to provide meals to these evacuees locally, you can do so by clicking that link. If any of your readers are in the Houston area, they can also find information on how to volunteer their time serving food and providing other services at the Astrodome."
*Second Red Cross link -- Yahoo! has up a site that gives straight to the Red Cross, but can handle overflow traffic the regular Red Cross site can’t.
*Office Max is apparently allowing its customers to add donation money to their total bill when they check out.
*Northwest Medical Teams -- The site says, "We are... helping local church-based groups provide lodging and food for refugees; shipping emergency health supplies; dispatching mobile health vans to address public health needs; sending staff and volunteers to help medical relief efforts." NWT has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.
*A friend mentioned that Stater Bros. Markets were accepting cash donations both outside of the stores and inside at the cashier.
*PETsMART - The retailer is funneling funds from its usual charities to Hurricane Katrina victims. Click to investigate and donate.
*The Barry Manilow Fund - The Schnozzed One's personal foundation will match donations and send all of it to the Red Cross.
*Best Buy - Through the end of September, if you donate at the register or through the Web site, the company will match it dollar-for-dollar and send the contributions to the Red Cross.
*Costco - The retailing giant is matching contributions dollar-for-dollar.
*Lisa Kline - From an employee, "Starting yesterday (and we haven’t put a cap on it, just going on as long as necessary) Lisa Kline has pledged 5% of all sales -- not just profits -- from www.lisakline.com to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief efforts."
*Crafters' United - An online shop created exclusively to sell donated items. All the proceeds are going to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund.
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Positive Stories of Help from all over:

*Anheuser-Busch, the King of Beers, is going to become the King of Water.
ST. LOUIS (Sept. 2, 2005) –Anheuser-Busch Companies said today it will be increasing its donation of fresh drinking water to nearly 2.5 million cans per week to Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Recognizing the unique position the company is in to provide safe drinking water, the company will also be converting operations at its Houston brewery, in addition to its Cartersville, Ga., brewery, to producing canned water.

The company’s Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anheuser-Busch Companies, is also increasing its donation to the Red Cross to $1 million to help ongoing relief efforts along the Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Anheuser-Busch will also match contributions made by its employees to the Red Cross Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

In addition, the company announced it will match up to an additional $1 million from its independent wholesalers nationwide.

“As the extent of the devastation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina becomes clearer, our resolve to help becomes stronger. We have the ability to bring something life-saving to the victims: fresh drinking water. Together with our network of wholesalers across the country, we are mobilizing all of our resources to get water to these victims and to relief workers,” said Patrick Stokes, president and chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch Companies. “Anheuser-Busch and our wholesalers nationwide are proud to continue providing support to those who need it most.”

Separately, Anheuser-Busch announced that it is making its truck fleet available to the Red Cross to ship emergency supplies such as generators, food and clothing. The trucks are located at the company’s 12 domestic breweries in St. Louis, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, Jacksonville, Fla., Williamsburg, Va., Baldwinsville, N.Y., Cartersville, Ga., Columbus, Ohio, Fort Collins, Colo., Merrimack, N.H. and Fairfield, Calif.

Anheuser-Busch’s logistics network, its freight carriers and wholesalers are working with officials to find passible routes into the stricken areas to deliver the water.

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WAL-MART - September 2, 2005. Items such as clothing, diapers, baby wipes, food, formula, toothbrushes, bedding and water will be given out free of charge to those with a demonstrated need at "Mini- Wal-Mart" locations.
Wal-Mart also will offer free check cashing in about 126 stores in the hurricane disaster area for an initial two-week period beginning today. This includes government, payroll and insurance checks and computer-generated checks. Proper identification will be required.
As a part of the emergency relief convoy to New Orleans today, Wal-Mart is sending nine trucks containing water.
Following President Bush’s announcement yesterday that former Presidents Bush and Clinton will lead a nationwide fundraising effort to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott contacted President Clinton and the White House and committed a $15 million cash donation from Wal-Mart to jump-start the effort.
The Emergency Contact Service has been created in our stores and on the internet to allow Wal-Mart associates and customers to post messages regarding their well-being on our websites.
We have management on the ground, working with moving supplies, helping stores to re-open, and helping displaced Wal-Mart associates. We are taking calls from associates needing emergency assistance and sending cash through our Associate Disaster Relief Fund.
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Dow Chemical Company, announced August 31 that it will contribute $3 million to the hurricane relief efforts. The donation will consist of:

$1 million in an immediate cash donation to the American Red Cross,
$1 million match to employee and retiree donations to the American Red Cross, and
$1 million in products and technology donations for the longer term reconstruction effort.
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These Minnesota based corporations and companies are donating to the relief efforts as well:
*3M Co. and Medtronic Inc. have joined other Minnesota companies in making large donations to the relief effort in Louisiana and Mississippi.
*3M Co. and the 3M Foundation have announced plans for an initial contribution of $1.5 million to help with relief efforts. The donation includes a $500,000 grant to match employee contributions to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
*Medtronic has pledged $1 million through its foundation to support Red Cross relief efforts.
*Supervalu said it has made a donation of $50,000 to the Red Cross and is delivering water, food and other critical supplies to the Gulf Coast region.
*Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group's foundation said Monday it will donate $10 million.
*Target Corp. also is contributing $1.5 million.
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GlaxoSmithKline - As an immediate demonstration of support, GlaxoSmithKline is donating one million dollars to the relief effort. Of those funds, $500,000 will go to the American Red Cross, $250,000 to the Mississippi Hurricane Fund and $250,000 to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation. The company will also provide medicines and health care products in support of the disaster recovery.

As a health care company with a broad range of medicines, vaccines and consumer health care products, GSK is also working closely with relief organizations and government officials to donate products to the Gulf Coast region. These organizations are expert in determining how best to distribute supplies efficiently, where and when they are most needed.

Given the extensive damage to basic utility services, a number of prescription medicines such as antibiotics and vaccines are likely to be in high demand. GSK's medicines for diabetes, respiratory diseases and other chronic conditions may also be needed by patients. GSK also stands ready to donate substantial quantities of personal hygiene products such as toothpaste and toothbrushes, and nonprescription medicines.

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UPS - In response to the destruction from Hurricane Katrina, The UPS Foundation is donating $1,250,000 toward relief efforts and UPS is taking separate steps to assist its employees and their families in the affected areas.

The $1.25 million donation will include $500,000 in cash and up to $750,000 of in-kind services for the shipment of medical and health-related items. The funds will be divided between The American Red Cross, America's Second Harvest and other relief organizations that assist with long-term rebuilding activities.
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Chevron - Chevron Corporation today announced it is making a commitment of $5 million to support recovery efforts in the communities affected by Hurricane Katrina. This includes a $3 million contribution to the American Red Cross in support of disaster relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi and other affected areas following further analysis of the devastation. The remaining $2 million will go to local charities and relief efforts near Chevron businesses in affected states, as determined by the Company.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with our employees and the communities affected by this disaster," said Dave O’Reilly, chairman and CEO of Chevron Corporation. "We are pleased to partner with the American Red Cross to provide aid and we will be evaluating opportunities to expand relief efforts near our businesses as we learn more about local needs."

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Abbot Laboratories - ABBOTT PLEDGES DONATION OF $4 MILLION IN FUNDS AND NUTRITIONAL, MEDICAL PRODUCTS — In response to widespread damage throughout the Gulf Coast caused by the catastrophic hurricane Katrina, Abbott has pledged $2 million in cash donations and an initial $2 million in nutritional and medical products to help victims of this disaster. The nutritional products, which are already being distributed to those in need, were rapidly shipped to affected areas in response to initial requests from aid organizations yesterday soon after the disaster struck.

"The effects of this disaster are absolutely devastating. Abbott is answering the call to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. "Our thoughts are with all of those who live in the affected areas. We encourage all of corporate America to help."

Working with disaster relief organizations including the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, America's Second Harvest and MAP International, Abbott's initial contributions include cases of pediatric and adult nutritional products such as Similac® infant formula, PediaSure® and Pedialyte® nutritional drinks and Ensure® and ZonePerfect® bars.

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More stories to come as I find them...

6 comments:

Heather said...

I am already planning a post on what I would do with those people who are terrorizing their community.

No_Newz said...

I'm glad you can be there. I wish I could too. I can't fathom what is going on in their minds as all of this is unraveling around them.
Be safe and thank you again!
Lois Lane

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Great charities Nic.

I'm off on vacation for a week. See you on the 11th. There is a little something to keep you visiting while I'm away.

AubreyJ said...

rahGood work Nicole…
I too agree that we all must do our part.
This is so much bigger than anything we have ever had to deal with before.
Amy and I have done our part…
I hope the ones who read this have done the same…
Thanks again Nic…
AubreyJ…………

epiphany said...

There is another wonderful charity here in Houston called Northwest Assitance Ministries. It is a local charity run by all of the local churches. If you are here in Houston, you can take clothing, personal hygene supplies, and toys to them for the families in all of the shelters throughout the city.

Paul said...

Great job, Nic. Well done.