Local needs remain amid urge to help with Katrina relief
The degree of suffering we've witnessed the last two weeks from the comfort of our living rooms has stirred in many an impulse to give, either through donations or by volunteering our labor or expertise.
Multiple fund-raising efforts, including one led by former presidents Bill Clinton and George H. Bush, are seeking to raise money to sustain those left homeless and jobless from the storm and to support relief and recovery workers. The need is so massive that there is some way we can all contribute for the effort.
Some, such as Eudora's Tami Klinedinst, Tim Reazin and Jim Clarke, have found it impossible not to answer the call and have found ways to take direct action.
Klinedinst had the wonderful idea of organizing a community-wide garage sale starting at 7 a.m. Sept. 24 in the Eudora High School parking lot. It is hoped many Eudorans respond to the opportunity to help Katrina's many victims while enjoying the music, food and camaraderie that will be available.
Reazin and Clarke, both Eudora firefighters, have headed south to help with hands-on relief efforts.
As Hurricane Katrina gathered force in the Gulf of Mexico, the Census Bureau reported that U.S. poverty levels had increased for the fourth year in a row. Several days later the storm provided vivid evidence of the trend as the poor unable to join the mass evacuation seemingly planned for a commuter society struggled in poorly conceived and unsupported shelters.
The desperate need in the Gulf should alert us that poverty is a fact of life for some among us. As we help those in the Gulf, remember food pantries in Eudora and Douglas County will still need donations, and local charitable organizations will still need cash donations, perhaps more so as working families struggle to cope with skyrocketing energy costs.