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nafex - Re: [NAFEX] Do-It-0urselves Katrina Relief

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  • From: "Stephen Sadler" <>
  • To: "'North American Fruit Explorers'" <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Do-It-0urselves Katrina Relief
  • Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 11:25:22 -0700

As a former Red Cross worker, I can tell you that the American Red Cross
(ARC)(and Red Crescent, too, is working on this disaster) can get blood,
plasma, fluids, food, water, gasoline or diesel for generators, etc. in
place as efficiently as possible given the scope of the disaster. This has
been one of the worst in the world in terms of the difficulty of getting
goods in to people in need. Seldom does the agency have to deal with the
combination of flood, destroyed roads, and snipers.

The military has the best ability to move goods, and FEMA and Red Cross have
goods and volunteers available. FEMA should be coordinating Red Cross and
the military, I would hope - someone has to.

ARC could coordinate the delivery of, for example, IV fluid. But it would
take longer to deliver that dedicated donation than to either deliver their
own stock or to purchase or get donated stock from a supply house.

Money donations are a faster way to get that IV fluid (or anything else) in
place faster than a direct donation of the fluid (or whatever). Large
volume donations from suppliers are a different matter, and those suppliers
should contact FEMA or the ARC headquarters. Local chapters should be able
to help coordinate such larger donations, as well - but they do that through
National, so one may as well contact them directly.

Monetary donations earmarked for a specific tragedy, like this, are great,
and welcome. Of better use are non-designated donations. ARC keeps money
and goods on hand to try to deal with emergencies immediately, rather than
having to wait for the processing of earmarked donations. That fund then
needs to be replenished. Americans tend to give amounts in proportion to
the proximity of the tragedy to where they live. As awful as 9/11 was, much
more money was earmarked for it than was needed. Had it been available for
general relief, many millions of earmarked dollars could have been
immediately available for something like Katrina.

ARC fundraisers have a heck of a time trying to get the public to understand
these concepts. Frankly, we seldom tried. But this is a
brighter-than-public sort of list.

Easiest donation, if you want to give, is via the website:

Giving directly on the ARC site keeps fundraising costs to minimum.
Indirect donations often have hidden costs - sometimes necessary and
ethical, sometimes not so much.

The 'Diaster Relief Fund' is the general emergency fund.

Charlie mentioned generators - if you're anywhere nearby, that's one thing
that might be an efficient donation - you could 'lend' a generator, but I
wouldn't count on getting it back in this chaos. Farther away, contact your
ARC chapter and ask. Money will still get generators in place, though. The
huge problem is still transportation. We've been wondering what took so
long to get the amphibious vehicles moving into town. There was only one
day warning that the hurricane would hit where it did - I hope it was just a
case of not enough time to deploy. You know there are going to be
investigations later. Now it's just a joy to see them finally moving in.


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Charles Paradise
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 9:14 AM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: [NAFEX] Do-It-0urselves Katrina Relief

Not a wild idea Tom has at all. Here in Massachusetts, individuals are
trying to help. One working at a health food store is sending protein
powder directly. I had thoughts about this I wrote yesterday I quote myself
as follows:

Brett Favre, quarterback of Green Bay Packers football team, native of the
storm area, spoke yesterday saying even more urgent than food was need for
generators to produce AC electricity. 110 degrees at night is too much to
ask weak children sick or elderly to take.

If it were me trying to help directly, I'd call a clinic in the greater
storm area, ask what delivery method is most likely to come through for
them, ask who their medical supply company is, and pay directly for a big
box of I.V. fluid. As a second choice, join with others to pay for a
generator and have it delivered to an aging association in the storm area
least likely to get power back online soon. I'd be willing to kick in a few
bucks if someone wanted to get the ball rolling on this. I do know people
escaped from the storm to Houston who could advise about clinics,
associations, etc.

If anyone would like me to call refugees from New Orleans now in Houston to
inquire where something could be sent [like an elderly affairs organization]
I will make the call, if asked.

Charlie Paradise, Massachusetts

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