My immediate family wasn't directly effected by Hurricane Katrina, however I do have friends and co-workers whose families have been. So much sadness....
Since I live here in North Texas, I have various opportunities to volunteer to help out the evacuees from New Orleans. The Texas branches of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators are also looking for ways to provide long-term help for families affected by this disaster. I received the following information today and I'd like to share it with you all in case you can help, too.
Message from Stephen Mooser, SCBWI President on the SCBWI website:
SCBWI Members Affected by Hurricane Katrina
If you are an SCBWI Member in need of help because of Hurricane Katrina, whether it be transportation, food, shelter, or other services, please call the SCBWI Hurricane Hotline at 1-877-547-2294 and let us know:
* what services you need.
* the best way to reach you (phone, email, etc.).
Our staff will return your call as soon as possible with resources or a local contact for immediate help.
SCBWI Members in the Surrounding Areas
If you are an SCBWI Member in Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Missouri,
Georgia, or another nearby state, and would like to offer transportation, food, shelter, or other services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information and what help you can offer.
SCBWI Members in Other Areas
The SCBWI will be establishing a fund to provide help to schools and libraries in the Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi areas. Watch this space for more information. Right now, we are more concerned with saving lives and encourage you in the meantime to donate to emergency relief efforts:
* Network for Good
offers a comprehensive list of nonprofits accepting donations
* American Red Cross
donation site hosted by Yahoo!
* Louisiana Library Association Disaster Relief
monetary donations to schools & libraries
* State Library of Louisiana Hurricane Assistance Links
links to help children, shelters, and more
From the North Texas SCBWI:
I want to encourage each of you to reach into your hearts and find a way to be involved in helping those involved, whether through the many national organizations, local ones, churches, community groups and so on.
Many of the SCBWI's are wanting to get books to the children who will be sitting in these temporary homes for weeks as their families try to put their lives together. The Haynes suggested a possible book drive at our conference to get to these kids, though I think that anything you can do more immediately would be greatly helpful.
If you have any ideas on how we can get donated books to the various areas or want to contact someone as to how this might be done, please contact me and we'll see what we can get going. With our region so large and the evacuees being in Dallas, Arlington, and Fort Worth and more, there are definitely more than one place that we can help with donations of our own books and used books we might have or purchase.