Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Positive stories from New Orleans

All you ever hear in the wake of a disaster is the bad stuff. How many thousands of people have died. How many more have lost everything. Families broken up, cherished pets lost forever, bodies in the streets. Looting, disease, death. Political incompetence.

Silver linings aren't much compensation, but they are there. Disaster brings out incredible qualities in so many people. A very good friend of mine (getting gooder by the minute!) in Austin, Texas, spent the Labor Day weekend volunteering to help evacuees, and the stories she has told made me truly proud both of her and the people she worked with and for. Here are some wonderful stories of bravery and kindness in New Orleans.

I know evacuees are being sent all over the US. Maybe you don't have any money to send to the Red Cross, but you might have some spare time you could donate at the evacuation centres in your city. It's not always money these people need: they need kindness, and compassion, and maybe just someone to talk to.

Oh, and if a hurricane ever hits your area, if you have pets, get them out as soon as you hear the H word. Get them out, or lose them. While families were being evacuated from New Orleans, no animals were allowed on the buses. I read a heartbreaking story about a little boy who had to leave his dog behind and screamed for him until he was sick. Imagine how hard it is to keep yourself safe, and then try adding an anxious pet into the mix. I know if such a thing happened to me I just wouldn't leave. But then you all know I'm a big old softie about my menagerie. I'd no more leave them than I would a child.

Please remember to keep organisations like the ASPCA in mind if you're thinking of donating. I really feel strongly about animal welfare and am totally heartbroken on behalf of anyone who has lost a pet in this tragedy. I've also heard of an organisation called Noah's Wish that rescues and shelters animals affected by natural disasters. There's a purple button on the left panel which, if clicked, donates for free to animal rescue charities. Whatever heaven you believe in holds a place for these people.

And, just in case I haven't guilted you into anything yet, I shall leave you with this:
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He's old, black, and gay. If he was human, he'd probably be on Oprah by now. But he's a cat, so he'd have just got eaten by a 'gator instead.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty kitty! If I could, I'd adopt an animal made homeless by Katrina. The LSU vet school is desperate for people to take them, will even pay to transport them to you (not sure if they'd ship across the pond, tho, Kate), but with 2 dogs and 3 cats already here, I don't think I could do it.

    I clicked the purple button, though.

    And {{{hugs}}} for saying nice things about me! I'm really not that good. I've got a shriveled heart and I spread evil and discord wherever I go. I'm rather Striker-like in that regard. LOL!