As the scale of the disaster that has hit the Gulf Coast of the USA is becoming more obvious, I feel so helpless at not being able to make a difference.
The US government is by no means the most generous with Foreign Aid per Capita, but that's more than made up for ny the mind-bogglingly huge rescue and relief efforts the US armed forces provide worldwide. It's then doubly made up for by the enormous generousity of US citizens and corporations.
Well, now it's some Americans who need help. Lots of it. From my appreciation of the situation, the number of deaths is going to rival all US combat deaths in Iraq put together, and the magnitude of the task involving in rebuiilding infrastructure is going to be of similar cost, and will take a similar time, at least a decade.
There won't be much change left out of a Trillion dollars, after all payouts by insurance, Federal and State Aid, and uncompensated losses are considered.
Giving a few bucks to the US Red Cross seems utterly trivial, an exercise in making myself feel good rather than actually doing something constructive. But what the heck, even though my prospective medical bills are huge, and I need every penny I can get, others' need is greater.
Then there's this. which I've quoted in its entirety.
As many of you know CoffeeCup Software is a socially active company. In the past our users have raised over 1 million dollars for September 11th efforts and over $50,000 dollars for victims of the Asian Tsunami.
Hurricane Katrina has given us a different challenge. We have accessed the situation and have found a way we can all help. Since CoffeeCup Software is located in Corpus Christi, Texas (a couple of hours south of Houston), we are calling upon anyone who receives this e-mail to send 'Goods' to our office. This will directly help the thousands upon thousands of American refugees that will be entering Houston, Beaumont, and througout Texas within the next days and weeks.
Our office will collect what you send and will drive these items by cargo truck to the refugees where they are located. Over 25,000 people will arrive at the Houston Astrodome tonight and we expect many waves of refugees over the next month. We will collect items for the next 60 days and will make trips once a week or more as needed.
Currently many Charitable organizations are overwhelmed and we want to make sure the Families and Children will be given what they really need without wait. Send as much as you wish, we have plenty of storage.
Some items we believe they need are:
Diapers, Baby Wipes, Infant Care Items
Personal Care Items (soap, razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, hygeine items)
Clothing (socks, underwear, shirts, shoes, pants, shirts)
Long Distance Calling Cards, Batteries, FM Radios, Walkie-Talkies
Toys (coloring books, crayons, puzzles, any activity toy)
Our Address is:
c/o Hurricane Aid
226 South Tancahua Street
Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
You can also order things online at places like Amazon.com, WalMart.com, Target.com, and others and have them sent directly to our offices as well.
Please do not send food, water, or money. This will be handled by Organized Charities. Send what you would personally want if you were placed in a very uncomfortbale position for a very long time with little or no money (use your best judgement).
We will be documenting our efforts by Web Cam and Pictures and these will be posted on our Website soon.
If you would like to Donate money you can do that here:
http://www.houstonredcross.org/ or http://national.unitedway.org/
"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."
- Sir Winston Churchill
Thank you so very much again,
CEO CoffeeCup Software, Inc.
I've known this firm for years, and can vouch for their bona-fides.
Every little bit helps, and ten cents now is worth more than a thousand dollars later. Maybe I'm just doing this for the "feelgood" factor, not because it will actually do anything useful. But right now I don't care about my motives, I just need to do as much as I can.