Thursday, September 01, 2005

"I've never seen anything like it."

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds is being buried today with so many emails, that he's finding it impossible to keep up with the list of specific charities bloggers are suggesting. That's only a few of the organizations providing help after .

There are other ways people can help, too, perhaps -- depending on where you live -- at your own local level. Some already are.

One of my neighbors headed downstate last week with the local utility crews dispatched to help restore electric and water service. He'll be home when his rotation is done, replaced by someone else.

Only a few days ago, Jacksonville Fire Rescue sent equipment and about 100 members to the Gulf Coast. They left not knowing what to expect or what they'd be facing, but fully prepared to be completely self-sustaining including taking their own food and water with them. Except after two days they were out of food and water.

"A lot of the food we sent over with the firefighters they shared with desperate citizens of Mississippi, who were hungry, who had hungry children," Seth said. "They shared what they had."
The call went out over the local airwaves late yesterday morning. The response was overwhelming.

I'd planned on doing something but Tank's appointment yesterday took a lot longer than I'd anticipated. By the time we got home, I knew I wouldn't be able to get to the store and a fire station before the 7 o'clock deadline when the supplies would be picked up. With as quickly as they'd run out of supplies, I figured whatever was being sent wouldn't last long, either. Another drive would be needed.

I stopped by one of the area fire stations this morning and asked if another one would be scheduled and if so, when. The reply was that another one probably will but the firefighter wasn't sure when.

I know what I consider supplies but my needs are probably different than theirs, so I asked for suggestions. The firefighter answered by pointing me toward a bay where one of their engines is normally housed. Instead of a firetruck, it was filled with cases of water and non-perishable food.

JFD had badly underestimated the volume of donations they'd receive. So badly, that the supply trucks that left last night for Mississippi were filled with what had been collected at only about a half of the stations. When they get back, they'll turn around and haul the rest.

And people were still bringing in cases of food and water, including a couple cases of soup and ravioli.

If you want to do something but aren't sure what you can do because the need is so massive, you may find an answer within your own community, by supporting those who are helping others.


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