The update on my family: my great aunt and her daughter are still at my parents’ house, and it looks like it may be up to 3 months or longer before they’re able to return home. My parents still don’t have electricity, but they borrowed a generator from their neighbors (who already have their power back), so they have fans, which helps. And this morning, they saw three utility company trucks working on a downed tree in their neighborhood, so they’re optimistic that they’ll have power back soon.
I made a donation to the Red Cross today. Not out of concern or need for anyone in my immediate family, but I was born and raised in Mississippi, and I consider New Orleans to be a second childhood home because that’s where my grandparents and so many other relatives lived. I know that I’m blessed because the worst my family may have to deal with is property damage – which is horrible, but the people themselves are still around, and that’s all that really matters. But even though none of my family are currently missing, hurt or dead (thank god), come on. For better or worse, those are my peeps. And I’m so far away, I don’t know what else to do except give money to the Red Cross. So that’s what I’ve done.
I also gave money to a really great organization called Noah’s Wish, which rescues animals that are stranded during disasters. I know that our main priority should be the humans who need help, but whenever I think of all of the poor cats and dogs who are too domesticated to know how to provide for themselves in this type of devastation, my heart shatters into a billion tiny pieces. And once again – I’m not there to help or to go pluck the kitties and puppies off of the rooftops myself, so I do what I can.
Meanwhile, if you want to read something that will make you hate the world, make you feel the rage rise up in your throat, and make you want to strangle someone in frustration, this ought to do the trick. The guy basically says that the hurricane was brought to smite New Orleans for being a city of sin and homosexuality. Gaaaah. Funny how he has no explanation for the God-fearing, Bible-thumping citizens of Mississippi, but whatever. He’s an ass. I thought about leaving him a message telling him so (complete with quotes about how Jesus himself said that we should all love each other and not be judgmental and all of that good stuff), but I decided it was probably pointless.
Update: My parents have their electricity back! Hooray for air-conditioning!
It’s small comfort, but you might be relieved to hear that the Zoo and the aquarium are pretty safe:
(Q&A lifted from the St Petersburg Times):
What happened to New Orleans’ famed zoo and aquarium?
Reports from the city say they fared pretty well. According to Ron Forman, president of the Audubon Nature Institute that oversees the two facilities, a few flamingos died but there was little other loss of animal life. The zoo and aquarium are along the banks of the Mississippi River near the historic French Quarter. Although the aquarium lost power, it had a generator and plenty of food and freshwater. The French Quarter, built on the highest ground in the city, suffered less damage than other neighborhoods. The city’s highest point is Monkey Hill inside the zoo.
This is all unbelievable…I just made my donation to the Red Cross, and my company matches 100%.
I used to live in NOLA, and cannot believe what I'm seeing. I feel the same as you…a connection to the people of MS and LA. It breaks my heart.
That was the one stupid thing I did about donating money – I put it in my name, and Dave's employer does charitable donation matching. Grrr. I'm going to try to give money again, later this month, and I'll make sure I put it in his name next time.
I made an online donation to the Red Cross this weekend, and also dumped a bunch of cash into a donation bin at Starbucks. The more I watch the news, the more I want to give. It’s just so sad.