Friday, September 02, 2005


Sent to me by a friend who has two sisters and a cousin working as Red Cross Volunteers in coastal Mississippi:

"All you armchair relief coordinators out there: every time you complain about the disaster recovery efforts, you should donate $25 to the Red Cross.

That should make y'all quit criticizing people like my family while they're risking their lives to do what you won't, or pay for all the homes that were destroyed by next week."

Works for me.


  1. Yup. Puts it in a whole different perspective. I believe everyone involved in relief efforts is busting their tail to make things go as smoothly as possible.

    I'm certain there will be one heck of an after action debriefing out of this to find things that could have been done better to avoid duplicating some things in the future (because this, or something like it will happen again). That will be the time when 20/20 hindsight will be useful. In the here and now, we have to deal with the reality that is as best we can.

    Prayers go out for the safety and effectiveness of all the people working so hard to ease pain and suffering.

  2. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Thought it might give folks a lift to read about someone who took action instead of complaining. Two little boys in my neighborhood stayed up late last night making bracelets to sell today, to raise funds for the Red Cross. I'm sitting at my 'puter wearing a $20 dollar green and black plastic bead bracelet with a goofy yellow smiley face in the middle. These beads look better than any pearls I've ever seen.

  3. Anonymous5:17 PM

    I can't imagine the work it takes to organize something like this. Housing, feeding, and moving tens of thousands of people from an area that's virtually cut off by flooding (plus the hundreds of thousands or more that left before Katrina hit and are indefinitely homeless too). The logistics of the operation blow me away. It's only been four days. I know it's been four god-awful days but I'm sure everyone involved in the relief effort is doing all they can.

  4. Anonymous6:15 PM

    I'm not critizing the relief workers, I'm just angry at the powers that be that have made their job a thousandfold harder by ineptitude.

    All I can do here is urge my friends to get on their own disaster plans, because we will get smucked with an earthquake one day.

  5. Anonymous7:34 PM

    Does that apply to the people who are dying in the streets and being eaten by rats? Cause they probably don't have a net connection just now.

    Nobody's complaining about the Red Cross, or any of the folks doing the actual work. People are justifiably angry at the powers that supposedly be, who seem to be either sitting on their hands, or shopping for shoes while people die. No, I don't have any answers or solutions to the problem, but we can ask awkward questions in the hope that this won't happen again.

  6. Anonymous9:53 PM

    Jimbo wrote: Does that apply to the people who are dying in the streets and being eaten by rats? Cause they probably don't have a net connection just now.

    I don't think I'd classify them as "armchair relief coordinators." Your interpretation may differ, of course.

    It's always easy to criticize anything from the comfort of your home, where you have plenty of food and water and A/C. That's why I'm going back downstairs and work on the quilt I'm making to send with others to Houston for the victims. Beats thinking up clever responses to hostile comments. What are you going to do tonight?

  7. I have been critical... but for me, I need to digest something completely and know why and how it happened.

    I've been asking questions like 'why did people stay' and 'who is supposed to be rescuing them' and 'what is the economic situation' and 'what exactly did the mayor say about...' and I've been criticized by a few people who think I'm being an arm chair relief coordinator. I need to know how and why in any situation so I can digest it and learn from it.

    But I'm also a regular donator to the Red Cross - in dollars and blood - and I also go for my first interview with the Red Cross as a volunteer with my city's Disaster Relief Team.

  8. Anonymous11:40 PM

    Goodapple wrote: I'm also a regular donator to the Red Cross - in dollars and blood - and I also go for my first interview with the Red Cross as a volunteer with my city's Disaster Relief Team.

    That kicks you out of the armchair. Good for you.

    My daughter and I finished one quilt tonight. We're going to try to make five more over the weekend.

    Whatever you can do for these folks, please, do.

  9. I kvetched twice on my blog today, once on Kate Rothwell's. But we contributed enough today that I have a few kvetches left in me. Oy.

  10. Anonymous8:09 AM

    My comment wasn't meant to be hostile, I apologise if it came across that way - I'm just frustrated, and I think it's our duty to question what is happening.

    As for what I'm doing - I live in the UK, so all I can really do is donate to the Red Cross, which I have done for this crisis, and did for the tsunami and 9/11. I don't have an armchair, but I do have a sofa, and an opinion, and it breaks my heart to hear about what is happening over there. I'm proud of what the relief workers are doing, and I just wish they had more help from the people who are doing photo ops and shopping sprees instead of their jobs. It's infuriating.

  11. since distance and other factors make it impossible for me to get in there and help, the best thing I can do, once I donate my money-- is get outraged on behalf of the refugees AND the people who are on the spot trying to help them. And there are obvious reasons for outrage.

    Thank goodness are people like author Sandy Blair and her husband. She lives in Texas where busloads of people are pulling up. Her husband went to a bus, got a family of four and brought them home to stay at the Blair's house.

  12. Anonymous11:14 AM

    I truly hope the volunteers don't believe the backlash of frustration is aimed at them.

    They are busting their butts, often going without food or water themselves. This includes the police, the firemen, the medical people, along with the Red Cross and other relief organizations.

    My frustration zoomed when on, Tuesday I believe, I saw a shot on TV of a company that was able to enter the city of New Orleans with portable potties they were donating. A couple of truckloads.

    I scratched my head a bit, wondering how they got in there when the government couldn't.

    Then as the busses started rolling in to evac people, my frustration literally boiled over. Why oh why werent these vehicles loaded with water at the minimum? Something that would have given the people waiting their turn in line a little hope?

    The way it stood, that empty bus was their only lifeline. No wonder violence erupted as people fought for the precious spaces on those vehicles.

    And yes, I've donated to the Red Cross to help in the relief, and am donating whats left of my stash of books to a site raising funds with an auction.

    Other than that, I can only sit by and watch in helplessness. And pray.

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. bah, I'll dump that last post. It's just ranting and I can do that at my own blog! Sorry.


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