Sunday, September 04, 2005

Don't Bring Your "Crap"

Does anyone think that refugees need an old typewriter? That's one of the things that I saw someone trying to donate yesterday to the relief effort here in Austin.

If you are going to donate things, donate what your city asks for. Right now, in Austin, we need basic things like sheets and cots. Nobody needs furniture. Too often donations efforts become the excuse to get rid of shit that you don't want. This just slows down the process. Volunteers have to sort through a mountain of crap to get what people really need. If you're not sure, then give cash. Think of it like Christmas as a little kid. If you didn't get the GI Joe with the Kung-fu grip, then cash was the next best thing.

I had a busy day today in the EOC. I'm proud of my state and my city. But, I'm leery of the long-term. We have aprox 3,500 refugees now, and we'll probably get more. We might even get a couple thousand more. I'm not worried about the short term, but the long term may be hard. How do you shelter an extra 6-7,000 thousand people who don't have anything? We're up to the challenge, but its going to take some work.

One thing that is helping is that Texas has been incorporated into the disaster declaration so we'll get re-imbursed by the feds for our expenses. That's a good thing because we can spend without worrying about who foots the bill. City and County budgets are always and iffy thing so now we're set.

I've got some more interesting things to post tommorow. We'll get a little death by powerpoint, FEMA style. I'm also back in the EOC tommorow so I'll post some more from my limited perspective.

BTW, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Texas Baptist Men, and many other groups are spending money like privates on payday. If you have some cash to spare, donate it now. Noah over at Defensetech is leading the way with a donation of $1,000. Julie and I have donated. Dig deep. Your country needs you.


At September 07, 2005, Blogger AlliCadem said...

You are not kidding! I did a shoe drive for Operation Shoe Fly to contribute to the kids in Afghanistan. Can I repeat myself when I say KIDS? I was never more embarrased for some of these people and their idea of what was appropriate to donate. Hooker thigh-high boots, single shoes, old, NASTY tennis shoes that looked like the slip-on pairs you might wear to pick up dog crap - very RARELY were there any children's shoes that were even salvageable to send. I learned a valuable lesson, to say the least! (Not to have another shoe drive, that's for sure. Next time, I'll just buy new!)


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