MOSAIC NOLA:The Gentilly Project

Sunday, September 25, 2005

How Can Your Katrina Contribution Not Get Lost?

How did Mandy Hotchkiss of Vermont come to organize a fundraiser this afternoon - with barbecue, silent auction, and local musicians - to benefit a Louisiana town damaged by Hurricane Katrina?

The name of the town (Grand Isle, Louisiana) surely caught her attention, because she lived in a county of the same name in Vermont. There was also the need to do something personal, something more than contributing to a large national organization. Hotchkiss observed: "...that's in a lot of people's mind these days: 'How can we do something and not get it lost?' "

In the coming weeks, members of my class will be developing a system to allow informal coordination among those who want to do something personal to help evacuees. There are obviously lots of needs to be addressed. Our focus is community, representation, and voice for those who have been displaced from their homes in New Orleans.

All the students in my class are very capable masters degree students with engineering backgrounds and interests in business. The critical challenge is for them to *not* build this system themselves. The emphasis instead is to actively seek and find the contributions (activities, services, solutions) of others, bringing attention to them online and providing an evolving map of what others are already doing to bring community, representation, and voice to the displaced people of New Orleans.

2 Comments:

  • The "Hard Times In The Big Easy" fundraiser continues until 6pm today, rain or shine, at the Islands Center, Knight Point State Park, South Hero, VT.

    Donations can be sent to:

    Grand Isle Mutual Aid Association Katrina Relief
    P.O. Box 93
    South Hero, VT 05486

    By Blogger Quintus Jett, at 11:40 AM  

  • Wonderful ideas formulating here, Quintus. I look forward to learning what your students produce and how it impacts the evacuees.

    It was easier to be involved in helping the hurricane survivors initially when it was all you could think of. As life goes on, work and other volunteer needs crowd out the intent to continue helping.

    I still feel the need to do something personal as well. Beyond the fundraiser and sending of needed materials. I'm still considering the idea of going down to help Habitat for Humanity or some such organization build a house. I've only done it once before in Massachusetts--installed insulation that time.

    By Blogger Charlene, at 4:04 PM  

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