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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Help Being Delivered

Well folks,
I'm not going to argue with our work.
It never seems like enough, but I won't argue one bit!
Because of family and friends, I know the following efforts to be true:

National Geographic For Kids sent to 10 homes for 27 kids
Reader's Digest sent to 9 homes for 25 kids and 18 adults
Clothes sent to 5 families with 14 kids
Stuffed animals sent to 5 families for 8 kids
Stuffed animals sent to 1 organization for 40 kids
Christmas Tree "kits" (ornaments, lights, tinsel, tree skirt, tree) to 3 families with 10 kids
3 families getting full Christmas
4 families getting more than just the magazines
12/14 - another family getting more than just magazines. I've not had the brain power to put them on the wish list yet, but they are getting some clothes, thanks to another family member.
1 woman getting pulmonary rehab for another 3 months

This has all happened in 21 boxes over the last 3 weeks. It's been a whirlwind of a time, but has been by FAR the best Christmas I've ever had.

There is still a real need for assistance. I have had 2 more families request assistance in the last 2 days. Plus there are the families that are only getting a few items, or just the magazines for their Christmas. (1 of these has had some stuff delivered)

The need for normalcy is beyond critical at this point. These folks are badly needing a ray of hope to continue the daily struggle for recovery. Please consider helping some of them out.

12/15 My deepest gratitude to the following people:

The pharmacy apps department at Greater Baltimore Medical Center

These are the people who have made this Christmas so special to me and every family listed above.

12/19 I sent out Thank You's to those I'm not near enough to thank personally and that I have addresses for. One thing I want to address here is how long-lasting affect something as simple as giving someone Christmas can be.

These people are not forgotten. They are not invisible. By helping them, you have made them human again. You have restored dignity. The most precious gift you have given wasn't wrapped with a box inside and bow outside. It is completely intangible, but the most profound. Restoring faith in a fellow human, a fellow American, that hope does exist, that something more than a hand out exists - a hand up.

1 day. These families have 1 day to say, we have survived for a reason. We have 1 day to be a normal family, with the chaos, excitement and mess that comes with Christmas. The relief of knowing the children will have at least one present to unwrap, to look forward to. 1 day to forget the tragedy they live every other day of the year.

Reduced stress. Their lingering problems are still there. Bills to pay, Dealing with FEMA, Dealing with insurance companies. But the stress of buying, wrapping, trying to figure out WHAT to buy, how to pay for it, how to get to the store, finding the time to get to the stores, it's stress we all dread. But try to do it under their circumstances. Last year was a pride issue - letting them get the items themselves with gift cards. Every family I heard from was just as happy to have someone else do the shopping - it was just too much to deal with.

Future. This families will have a better future. It sounds stupid. But this one simple act will help the children stay out of drugs and violence, will help the parents remain together, and depending on what was given, could be just the one hand up they need to restore their lives to a previous level of financial security. I've had 2 families last year achieve this, so I feel at least 1 more will this year.

Lessons Learned. The children learn how giving can be done with dignity and grace - and how important it is - no matter how small or large the act.

These are the gifts you've given. The boxes you shipped, the items you had ordered, they are the smallest portion of your Christmas giving.

For that I thank you from the depths of my heart.

At some point in the near future, I will list the names of the folks we have helped - so that it's far less impersonal and far more human.

Thank you!

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