Katrina Networking

I am using my networking and marketing skills to pass along vital information to organizations, volunteers and survivors of the 2005 hurricane season. Grants, networking, advocating, assistance resources, articles and more. Updated regularly to better assist you.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Stores To Buy Gift Cards Through

This list will also expand as I get the information. Some are regional, many are national chains.
By buying gift cards, postage is saved and you'll be helping in 2 ways - supporting local businesses/bringing jobs back to the region and helping people who can't buy the items themselves.

The restaurant list is complete, but not all are open yet. But, this list will serve well within the next 6 months without question.

You can either buy these and take them with you if you plan on going, or you can send them to the Pearlington Distribution Center, or choose an organization or agency from the lists I have here on the blog and send the cards to them. It's your choice! And it'll be incredibly welcomed!


True Value Hardware
Ace Hardware
Home Depot

Office Supply

Office Depot
Circuit City


Pep Boys
Jiffy Lube
10 Minute Oil Change


Winn Dixie


Best Buy
JC Penney
Big Lots
Academy Sports
Show Carnival
Payless Shoes
Burkes Outlet
Bed Bath & Beyond
Slidell Army Surplus


Hobby Lobby
Bayou Country
Toys R Us


Olive Garden
Basking Robbins
Lees Burgers
Times Bar and Grill
Beignet Station
Pizza Depot
Sicily Pizza
Cici's Pizza
Papa Johns
Pizza Hut
Cracker Barrell
Picadilly Cafeteria
Taco Bell
Raising Canes
Burger King
Mc Donalds

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pictures And Update From NYS Volunteers

These were taken by Pat Holt, with the Dutchess County HFH who just returned from their trip to Pearlington with the One House At A Time project.

Let her and me know what you think.


Also - Rich Taylor, the head of the Dutchess County Habitat, wrote the following. It speaks volumes to the experience.

I and all the other 28 volunteers had a great time working on housing in Pearlington.
Many if not all want to return this spring and/or next year. I was such a rewarding venture and many said they received more than they gave. They all worked long days trying to get as much done as they could in 5 days. Some did not want to return home and two stayed several days longer.

We would like to help more from up here in Dutchess County.

We all (29) had a great time helping the 4 families in Pearlington and they all expressed an interest of returning this spring and/or next year. I will be working on planning another trip.
I also will be seeking funds and gift cards to be sent to Pearlington. Our local Habitat group has adopted Pearlington as a place of great need to send our quarterly tithe to. Our local paper did a story on our group and we made the front page with pictures.

Our crew was divided into 4 groups with some finishing the Dunaways (CBS house), some painting & finishing siding on the Watson's houses, 3 did sheet rocking and taping on another house and a group of 5 cleaned out rubbish on another home.Two of our group stayed to Thursday the following week to help get the CBS house ready.

Take care,

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Katrina Aid Today


11/7 Complaints Coming In
Katrina Aid Today is an UMCOR relief agency.
The top guy at UMCOR is Paul Dirdak, Deputy General Secretary. His phone 212-870-3816,

I think this info should be cross-posted because I've heard about problems with Katrina Aid Today for a while now. If I were you, I would call his office, leave a detailed message. Let him know you are involved in a Katrina volunteer group with many others across the country who still require assistance, and that is how you received his information.

Whatever information you receive from them, please let us know, because if they aren't doing their job, I know who to call in Washington.

I know a while back I saw some information about complaining about problems with Katrina Aid Today. The Katrina Aid Today people here in N.C. have twice said they have no money to help anyone. A friend of mine has asked for help with Child care, and she is having problems. I contacted them 2 wks ago to meet with one of the people here from Katrina Aid today , we scheduled a time and place, I called the day before the meeting, and was told there shouldn't be a problem , and even left a message on their voicemail an hour before the meeting to check if it was still on. This person never showed up, never called. I called her coworker, and was told that she was in a town over meeting with a client, and this coworker would leave a message for her.
She still has not called 3 days later, I emailed her boss( his name is listed on the Katrina Aid Today for N.C.) and he has not returned my email. I was supposed to meet with her, for job search help. I have been a home maker for most of my 17 yrs of marriage, and the only job I had 2 yrs ago was as a personal assistant for 2 yrs. She was going to go over what I could do, and see if she could get a resume together. Well now I do not know what the heck to do. I am sitting here with my hands tied,because I don't want to call again, if I have called over and over again, and have left messages without calls being returned( I have caller I.D. and would know if they have called when not home). So I would love to call someone to complain. Thanks

From Relief to Recovery: Katrina Aid Today Training is Underway

NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2006—Training has gotten under way for specialists who will oversee work to get 100,000 of the hardest hit families back on their feet after Hurricane Katrina.
One hundred “case managers,” plus supervisors, turned out in early January for an initial session held on the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. They were convened by Katrina Aid Today, a broad-based, federally-funded effort being carried out by a coalition of 10 relief and rehabilitations with national scopes. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the lead agency.

The training is designed to provide consortium members with the tools, standards, and technologies needed to make a common, nationwide system of case management possible, according to Warren Harrity, interim director of Katrina Aid Today. A common system will enable the organizations to share information more effectively and economically in working with the many people still huddled in hotels, tents, or crowded in with family members.
Katrina Aid Today, through a network of professional and volunteer case managers, will help families in 30 states identify their major post-hurricane problems and how to find solutions to them.

The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) using donations from the international community. The grant to Katrina Aid Today is $66 million for use over a two-year period.
“The training in Baton Rouge marks the beginning of the transition from relief to recovery,” Harrity said, adding that he was impressed by the large attendance for the first training event. He explained that the approach being used over the next 22 months will help “Katrina survivors take a leading role in their own recovery with the help of these highly trained case managers.”
Harrity has visited with many Katrina survivors and has seen first-hand their eagerness to regain stability. “Their determination, combined with highly trained case managers, makes for a powerful force for recovery,” he said.

Randy Ewing, chief executive of Louisiana Family Recovery Corps, was equally impressed with what he described as “an army of case managers in the audience who would assist those persons who originate from the great State of Louisiana who want to come home.”
Mr. Ewing’s agency, an independent entity set up by the state following the 2005 storms, provided part of the training. The Katrina Aid Today Coalition is working closely with the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps in both planning and implementation.
The Coordinated Assistance Network provided a team of trainers to assist with the web-based technologies that Katrina Aid Today will use. Louisiana-based staff of FEMA offered insights to help case managers to aid survivors navigate the complex systems of resources available as they reach toward self-sufficiency.

Additional Katrina Aid Today trainings, facilitated by UMCOR, will be held over the coming months as additional teams of case managers and volunteer case managers become engaged in long-term recovery.

To find more information about the locations of Katrina Aid Today implementing agencies and the locations were they are working see http://www.katrinaaidtoday.org/. Information related to these agencies and their activities as well as points of contact will be regularly featured on the Katrina Aid Today site to enable persons affected by the storm to seek assistance and recover for the disaster.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the humanitarian relief and development agency of the United Methodist Church, a worldwide denomination. For 65 years, UMCOR has alleviated human suffering by providing practical support to survivors of natural and civil disasters, without regard to a survivor’s religion, race, gender or national origin.

Volunteer Toolkit Builds a Bridge

Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) has developed the LDR Volunteer Toolkit, a new resource intended to help disaster response organizations with best practices in volunteer recruitment and deployment.

In a disaster zone such as the Gulf Coast, LDR functions through a network of thirty-five social ministry organizations (SMOs). While some of these organizations are regularly doing disaster response work, others have very little experience in the formation and implementation of a proper response. Thus, the Toolkit becomes an important part of the disaster preparedness component of Lutheran Disaster Response.

Partners Welcome to CustomizeFrom the Toolkit introduction, written by Heather Feltman, LDR Executive Director: “Armed with checklists, self-evaluations, and examples that you can use and customize, you will have lots of information to increase your services, generate publicity, and build a bridge between your SMO and the community it serves, all while developing a superlative volunteer program.” Any of the Katrina Aid Today partner organizations are welcome to employ the Toolkit as they develop and implement their own response efforts.

For those organizations with extensive experience in disaster response, the toolkit will serve as a helpful refresher in best practices. For those who might be doing disaster response work for the first time, this resource provides an outline for appropriately styling a response. A PDF version of the "LDR Volunteer Toolkit" can be found here on the Katrina Aid Today website or on the LDR website at http://www.ldr.org/VolunteerToolkit.pdf.

Questions?Please contact Mike Nevergall, at Lutheran Disaster Response, Michael.Nevergall@elca.org .

Lutheran Disaster Response is a collaborative ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Katrina Aid Today1720 I St. NW, Room 700 • Washington, DC 20006888-528-5281 • 202-955-5072 • Fax 202-955-5079 • info@katrinaaidtoday.org