Thursday, September 01, 2005

COM: Katrina relief

The Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem is sponsoring a Hurricane Katrina Relief day today. I signed up -- which means i take responsibility for a donation and for encouraging others to do the same.

The charity i chose, after some reading, is the Mennonite Disaster Services.

Also liberal bloggers are coming together as well. Check this out if you're so inclined:



Here is some info from MDS -- they're already on the scene:

MDS Begins Response To Katrina

AKRON, Pa.-- MDS will have leadership team members on the ground in Mississippi beginning Thursday. Starting in Macon, Mississippi, the team will move south to Meridian, where the Mennonite Pine Lake Camp is located, and eventually reach Gulfport. Another team will enter the region along the Gulf shore, joining the other MDS investigation in the Gulfport area.

MDS Churches and MDS volunteers will serve as connection points along the way. They will provide local information and help guide investigators to damage sites in their local areas.

On a conference call Tuesday morning, involving MDS members from Mississippi and Alabama, MDS Binational staff heard about a wide variety of impact. In Mississippi, the area most severely impacted is from Meridian south, where the storm remained hurricane strength. Most in that region are without power and telephone and cell phone service is patchy.

Further north, in Macon, MDS Unit Chair, Lloyd Miller reported that there are lots of limbs down but no sign of major damage. According to local police, a large ``feeder'' line is out and electricity is expected to be down for the next few days. Long time MDS volunteer, Ottis Mast, also at Macon, reports a lot of debris and many shingles off his own home to the extent that his roof will likely need to be re - shingled.

In Alabama, Mobile area is without power and has trees and limbs down with a large amount of debris. J.D. Landes, overseer of the Good News Fellowship Churches reports that some shingles are off roofs away from the shore . C loser to Mobile Bay and in the bayous severe damage is reported.

Pa stor Steve Cheramie Risingsun at the Poarch Community Church reports that many in his community and native Christian churches within Lousianna evacuated to as far away as Texas, Tennessee and north Alabama. While little damage was done in the Poarch area, about 40 evacuees from Louisiana have been staying at the church to wait out the storm.

MDS would like to emphasize that this is not the time for volunteers. Right now, search and rescue operations are in still in effect and this will remain a priority for the next few days. People are asked not to enter disaster regions with the hope of volunteering as officials will either escort you out of the area or arrest you . Residents themselves have not been allowed back to their homes and will not be allowed to do so for several days. Check the MDS website for volunteer opportunities beginning in the next several weeks or join with a recognized voluntary service organization with ties to established disaster response agencies. People seeking information about relatives in affected areas are encouraged to call their local office of the American Red Cross.

MDS is accepting monetary donations only at this time. You can donate through the main page of the website or by mailing a check to MDS. In the USA at: Mennonite Disaster Service, 1018 Main Street, Akron, PA 17501 or in Canada at Mennonite Disaster Service, 306-2265 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5J3.

Please continue to watch the MDS website for information. The site will be update as information becomes available and pictures will be posted as the investigation team moves through the affected areas.


MDS depends on your support
Your contribution will help to connect volunteers with disaster survivors who need assistance on their path to recovery. MDS depends on the support of people who believe that disaster response is an important part of helping those who are in need.

How will my gift be used?
The money you give to MDS will be used to house and support our volunteers while they are in the field. While MDS does not pay for homeowner's building materials, funds may be used to purchase the supplies and equipment that are needed to keep our construction projects running smoothly.

Donations to the general fund can be used where needed the most. Designated funds will be used for the specified project. If designated funds remain when a project is closed, those funds will be used at a similar project.

MDS is a binational organization that operates in both the United States and Canada. To maximize the value of the Canadian dollar, MDS attempts to spend funds in the country they are received.

Online donation page:
http://mds.mennonite.net/Donate/Online_Giving


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