Your e-mails: Hurricane Katrina
Brandi Deters, of Louisiana, Missouri, sent this photo of relief efforts titled "from one Louisiana to another."
CNN.com asked readers to share their thoughts about Hurricane Katrina. Here is a sampling from the responses, some of which have been edited:
I'm a student at the University of Puget Sound, and the response here has been amazing. Several fund-raisers are going on, two in my dorm alone. Last night, we turned our weekly "Towel Hour" into a fund-raiser and raised $215 in half an hour, from poor college students! It was fun and very helpful. Getting creative with fund raising helps a lot, and for people like me who don't have much money to give, creative fund raising is a great way to help out when you don't know what else to do.
My family is donating needed items to Brunswick Hospital where 150 evacuees are relocated. Commerce bank is matching donations from its coin counter up to $50,000, so everyone has a place for those pennies that nobody wants. I don't know why the government is not utilizing Governors Island. It has been vacant for years. I lived there in the '80s and it would be perfect. It has hundreds of apartments, barracks, a school, tennis courts, pools, restaurants, stores, parks and much more. It would allow many people without cars a place that they would not need them to get around. They could feel a sense of community surrounded by people just like them. It would make it easier to keep track of families and easy access to resources. Sometimes I wonder about the people in charge of this country. They never use the most compassionate and easy solutions.
Photographers and artists, members of the Flickr online photo sharing community (a recent Yahoo! acquisition) have organized a charity auction for victims of Katrina. Photographers donate a print, in some case framed and matted, and donors vie to be the highest bidder. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the American Red Cross. So far over $14,000.00 in pledges has been raised.
My headline as a volunteer: "Outpouring of Southern hospitality in the Austin, Texas, Convention Center." September 3-4 I had the pleasure of volunteering for the Red Cross in the Austin Convention Center, now "home" to some 3,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees. The amount of goods and services donated by Austinites astounded me and made me proud to be a Texan. People lined up in their cars for up to an hour waiting to drop off donations at the convention center, at the donation drop offs and at the Capitol Area Food Bank. There were hundreds of volunteers to receive, sort and ship the goods. In the Convention Center there were also hundreds of volunteers to greet, register and calm the evacuees. The Convention Center Building Service group built large shower facilities within one day. They cleaned the restrooms and trash continuously. They brought in a trailer to house a CVS Pharmacy. They set up dozens of computers with Internet access and installed dozens of phones with long-distance access. They served three hot meals a day and supplied snacks around the clock. The volunteers kept very busy. We carried luggage, babies and animals. We filled out forms for those who could not. We sorted through donated food, clothes and bedding. We answered questions to the best of our ability. We made the evacuees feel at home and tended to their needs. I even ran several blocks to a convenience store for some of their needs. I was sore, tired and emotional by the end of my two shifts, but it was worth every minute of it. I can't wait to go back.
My name is Katrina and I am a student at Johnstown Monroe High School. This year I am a junior. I and another girl named Madison have started collecting things from money, to clothing, to non-perishable items. Madison and I are doing a silent auction at our school's homecoming game and we are lucky enough to have received a signed photo of Sara Evans and will be receiving hopefully some other items from another radio station. Our goal is to raise $2,000.00. We hope to get there by September 30 -- that's our homecoming game. We know it's not enough, but it's the least we can do.
I'm a high school teacher in Pike County, Georgia. My Web Design classes have built a Web site and, in three days, have raised over $4,600. Our goal is much higher. We're volunteering, raising funds and learning that even rural teenagers can make a difference in the world, especially using the Internet. These kids are learning invaluable lessons and coming to school each morning knowing that they're going to make a difference today.
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