Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Sorry I was not able to post yesterday, lots of things are happening and I’m fairly busy.
So, the MA/NE Katrina relief group is hitting the ground running, and Greta’s family, whom I posted about yesterday, will be able to reach New England (and since I last wrote, more family members have hooked in with them, and also will be able to afford to drive up here as well because of the generous donations of my own readers and others). They are leaving Jefferson Parish today I believe, and making their way north. I can’t thank you all enough for what you’ve done so far. I’m simply stunned. But there’s so much more work to be done, so stay with me.
Our new group, now tentatively called ARKS New England (Aid and Relief for Katrina Survivors), has a new website where donations can be made directly to ARKS online. Our name is subject to changes - because we have emergency requests to attend to, we couldn’t spend the time to come to consensus on silly things like names and website domains. That can all be adjusted later, we figure.
The latest news is that the state of MA is on hold in bringing up the 2500 to Otis, because, they say, people don’t want to leave the area where their homes once were. I’m certain that many are worried about the motives of the government in relocation - will they eminent domain their homes and give them away? Will survivors be even allowed to return?
We’re doing a more human, person-to-person contact and I think this mass movement of thousands by the Red Cross, the states, and (*cough*) FEMA, while more efficient, is probably making survivors very nervous. ARKS coordinator Katrina has already made contacts with Louisiana churches and mosques that are overwhelmed with survivors and she says they are excited about our group, because they cannot forever support the many who are using their facilities as shelters, and more come all the time. From what I’m hearing, I don’t think we will have much trouble finding hundreds who will want to come to the northeast, personally. And as time goes on, and it sinks in that NO will not be habitable for a very long time, many will likely realize they can’t live in the Astrodome or convention centers for months or years, and we are preparing for that day as well.
You can still sign up for the email discussion list, but I warn you, it’s high volume right now as we settle in to a process. If you want to be an active member of ARKS I suggest you do sign up. If not, I will start making a list of “announcement” email addresses which will only get periodic reports, or you can check the website for our progress. That way, when we call on volunteers or donors or have needs, we can let you know immediately, but otherwise, you won’t be inundated. Just email me at lynne -at leftinlowell dots com.
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