Sunday, September 04, 2005

But What Can I Do? The Power of One.


With the heartbreaking stories of the devastation coming out of the Gulf Coast, I'm sure we are all feeling helpless. Many have given monetary donations and, hopefully, will continue to do so. But so many of us are unable to give what we consider to be an adequate dollar amount as we are stretched ourselves at the increasingly elevating cost of living and are asking, "what can I do to help?".

Here are a few suggestions. One of the many precious luxuries that those of us outside the storm ravaged and flooded areas have is the ability to communicate. By the very fact that you are reading this means that you have access to the internet. I'm willing to bet that you probably have a working telephone as well. Some of you even have free long distance. You are able to reach out to those who have the means to do something to alleviate the suffering of those in need. Among those you may want to contact are hoteliers. As the events of this past week have shown, football stadiums, which may provide an instant roof over the heads of thousands, were not designed to house people. I'm sure the Hiltons,, could afford to open a few doors to those left homeless.

Another would be cruise ships. They are in a unique position to simultaneously evacuate and provide temporary housing. Interestingly, while I was on the telephone yesterday to Carnival Cruises, they literally updated their web site with the news report that they would be halting the sailing of 3 of their ships to be used in rescue attempts in the Gulf. Of course, this may have been done not entirely of their own volition as they are receiving funding from FEMA, nonetheless, they are doing so. Although they are stationing them in Galveston, and will still need help with embarkment. This was the only cruise line I found to be making a concerned effort. In fact, while all others were pretty much of no help due to the fact that the higher-ups were on Holiday weekend, they were very amiable. Unlike Holland America, whose corporate offices are right here in Seattle. The woman I spoke to demanded to know my name, whether or not I was with the press, and what organisation I was from. Sad, indeed, that a plea would be construed as an attack.

Something that is also very important is that you contact your local representatives and ask them to assist in every way possible. This would include in the rebuilding of the areas affected and that they insist on using the labor of local people so that they can put their lives back together and get their economy flowing. Don't allow them to call in Halliburton and their subsidiaries so that they can continue to prosper off of the anguish of others. You can do this by contacting:

If you can afford the postage you may also want to print out your letters and mail them. Remember how impressive the huge pile of mail on the judge's desk on "Miracle on 34th Street" was? Made you believe in Santa Claus, didn't it?

Also, if any of you are bloggers, you may want to post these and any ideas you may have. I think we've all come to know how powerful these web logs have become.

Thank you for bearing with me and understanding that this is the problem of the entire nation and that we all have a duty to do what we can. We are all vulnerable, whether it be to natural or man-made disaster, or enemy attack. We need to know that we will be able to rely on each other and, hopefully, next time in an expediant manner.