We can save the world.
All it takes is the will.
Fall Special Edition #5
September 27, 2005
RESCUE FROM KATRINA
LS KIDS ARRANGE DONATIONS
Hurricane Katrina hit the south in late August, devastating thousands of homes and displacing the citizens, devastating New Orleans.
Within a day, the LS Kids had decided to help.
Contacting the Red Cross, Lou was told that money was the most needed. The Red Cross and Salvation Army were both refusing donations of clothing and items, due to storage and shipping problems. So Lou and the Kids made a plan to place donation cans in local businesses and collect the money each day, delivering it to contact person Carol Pearsall at the Red Cross Office.
Liberty Business Information allowed a can to be placed on the front desk, which was handled by Tiffany Allen and Biz Albright. (See story below.) Dunkin' Donuts, Walker's Hardware, Puffs Cigarettes, the Avenue Six-Pack, and the Ross Library also allowed cans to be placed in their locations.
"People really helped out," commented Lou, who collected most of the money daily. "In a crisis, people tend to show what they're made of, and they really came across. We got some generous donations, and a lot of kindhearted support."
Working throughout all of September, the Kids collected $186.85 by the end of the month. On September ninth, the count stood at over fifty dollars, and the Red Cross called to ask for permission to donate it to a flood refugee family that had come to Clinton County. Lou and Debbie Benfield agreed, and offered membership in the Kids to the family's daughter, a ten-year-old.
The rest of the money was sent to Louisiana, to help with operations there.
In other areas of the country, the DCS Bureau participated. In Illinois, Amber Snow donated her lunch money to a worthy cause. In New York, Max Brundage assisted with a clothing drive, and down in Florida, Regina Spence was able to help and raise some money. (See related stories in National Section.)
"I'm proud of the Kids," Lou said,"And grateful to the businesses that allowed the cans, and everyone who donated. All of us....Together....Well, we did a great thing."
LBI HELPS OUT
Charity has become Americaís priority. Since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast a short while ago, numerous sales and fundraisers to benefit its victims have taken place all over the United States. Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, has become a hot spot too: area businesses are doing whatever they can to collect money, whether that be setting out donation cans, selling raffle tickets, or a number of other things, the proceeds of which are dedicated to victims of Katrina.
Liberty Business Information, a local company at which LS Kids Tif Allen and Biz Albright both work, has put a great deal of effort into raising money for this cause. Recently, LBI held a bake sale for its employees at lunch hour, where brownies and cookies, and even whole pies and cakes, were sold for the benefit of Katrina victims. LBI also plans on holding a silent auction in October, the proceeds of which will be put with those from the bake sale and sent to the Red Cross.
Tif and Biz were also put in charge of the LBI side of an operation begun by Lou, who put donation cans in several area businesses to collect money for Katrina victims. Every evening after work, either Tif or Biz had the responsibility of removing the money from the can, sealing it in an envelope, and taking it to Lou, who counted it, along with all the money from the other cans, and made daily runs to the local Red Cross to drop it off.
-DCS Bureau Head
ANIMALS ALSO NEED HELP
With all the money and effort going to victims of Hurricane Katrina, it's also important to keep in mind all the animals that need help, as well. The displaced and lost pets of New Orleans, now without homes and families.
On September 20, while collecting the money for the Red Cross, Lou and Ginger White passed Hair Concepts, a hair solan on Main Street that was collecting items for the pets left in meed by the hurricane.
Each donating half, Lou and Ginger bought a twenty-pound bag of dog food, and dropped it off at the location.
"It's not much, but it's something," Lou commented. "If it were Kat, or Rudy, I'd want them taken care of. No matter how little, it's good to help."
THE ART WALK
On Friday, September ninth, LS Kids Debbie Benfield, Krystle Welch, Tif Allen, Ginger White, and Biz Albright, along with Lou, teamed up to help the Clinton County Arts Council with their monthly Art Walk. They were also able to help out the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Held in downtown Lock Haven, the Art Walk is a community function that draws substantial crowds. Citizens of Lock Haven and surrounding towns come to view the different types of art that are displayed in local businesses, and artists from Clinton and nearby counties are given a chance for some well-deserved recognition.
Lou and Debbie started out in the early afternoon with a map of which businesses were on the Walk route and specific instructions to mark the entrances of each with brightly-colored flags bearing name of the Clinton County Arts Council, to help cut down on the number of locations that are accidentally overlooked by patrons during the event. They were soon joined by Tif, who arrived by taxi after work, and then by Krystle and Biz a little later.
During the Art Walk, collections were being taken at each location to help with the Hurricane Katrina victims. The Kids helped direct people to the donation cans by placing the flags and signs up.
Once they had put out all the flags, everyone decided to stroll around the Art Walk and look at the exhibits until it was time to take the flags down again later that night. Lou, Tif, Krystle, and Ginger stopped by the Red Cross to turn over the most recent collection, and the Kids donated all the extra change they had in their pockets, as well.
Tif helped out victims of Hurricane Katrina by buying a handmade bracelet, whose creator was donating all proceeds from the sales of the bracelets to the Red Cross.
-Tiffany Allen, DCS Bureau Head
-Ginger White, Staff
REGINA, CHECKING IN
FLORIDA- "Though that hurricane hit some states away, that doesn't mean it didnt affect us," says Regina Spence, DCS Bureau. "People are coming here for shelter and places to stay. I work at Firehouse Subs, and people want hot food, so it's been crazy hellocious there."
Gina reports that her area of Florida didn't have any damage, and hardly lost power, but overall, the hurricane is the worst she's seen. Hurricane Ivan, which struck on her birthday last year, was a Category Four Hurricane when it hit. Katrina was a Category Five.
"Many people are dead...homeless...and worse...lost," Gina claimed, while checking in with the Kids to let them know she was safe. "A man was holding his wife and his two kids....she told him to let go and take care of them...he can't even find her body now. All I can do is ask you to keep everyone in yur prayers."
Gina is trying to contribute and help out, however.
"My Racer crew, Racing Pensacola, is putting a 'Show and Shine', an Import car show to raise money to send. My car gets entered! We usually raise about two or three thousand dollars doing this....so we're doing our best!"
-Gina Spence, DCS Bureau
-Ginger White, Staff
ILLINOIS- At my school in Illinois, some kids asked the principal if they could do something about Hurricane Katrina, and he had a meeting in the gym for everyone. He said that it really touched him that people were coming to him. He was about to cry, and was saying that he can't imagine what it is like to be without a home, no money, no job, no food or water, the loss of family members.
He said that for the next two weeks, we will collect money from kids, parents, and teachers, and send it to people in the south who need it. He is going to give the money to Convoy Of Hope because they will give all of the money to the people who need it because of Hurricane Katrina.
It really made everyone sad, and most people gave all their lunch money instead of eating lunch. Hardly anyone ate---It seems like it's better that people get help, and those kids that need it get fed instead of all of us eating--especially school food.
The school earned over four thousand dollars.
MAX RAISING MONEY
NEW YORK- From Monday, September 18, 2005, to Friday, September 23, 2005, Wellsville High School did a fund raiser by playing,"I donít want to be a duck, I donít want to be a duck, I donít want to be a duck, quack quack quack," all week, non-stop, over the loud speaker. It got to be annoying. By Friday they reached their goal of $1,000 for people donating to make it stop.
My friends Courtney Ryan and Larissa Wesche helped reach the goal.
"We were very successful," said Ms. OíConnel, middle school principal.
I think we could raise more if we try hard enough! Also Iíd like to say good luck and I think youíre strong to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
RHYME AND REASON
There Were Victims
A fragile child in an apartment,
stared out a window pane.
Her mother holding her close,
trying to hide the pain.
Winds blew like crazy,
the water ran wild.
And all this mother could do,
was hold an innocent child.
A man holding his children,
fought also to hold his wife.
Tho love so strong,
he couldnt save her life.
Air's wrath had no mercy,
the waves crashed in.
He held tightly to his children,
would he see his wife again?
A woman so tired,
bombarded with age.
Whispered her last prayer,
as the walls crushed her apartment cage.
The winds have no feelings,
nothing to share,
but the wrath of these storms
is more in life to bare.
In what a city once loved,
of color and praise.
Now has become a mass,
sorrowful, painful, watery grave.
A woman in home,
child in hand.
Fought to stay alive,
but above the waters they could not stand.
This man and his child,
Lost a mother you see...
He couldn't hold them both,
But she chose to set her baby free.
A woman of age,
with wise of years.
could not afford to leave,
and hence she drowned among her tears.
We, people, America,
underestimate the wrath of nature.
but helping one another,
may be our only savior.
Bodies lay silent.
Under water they appear.
Stories of the wrath which they died.
lay never of us to hear.
I beg of you to stand strong.
Embrace the one beside you.
For together we belong.
"In memory of the hurricane victim's who will not awake to see the sunshine...to those who have no where to call a home...to those who lost the one that meant the world to them...and to those who dont even know...you have a home in our hearts...and in our prayers."
HELL ON WHEELS
This is my favorite, all. Of the multitude of fundraisers that Hurricane Katrina left in her wake, this one is, to me, the crŤme de la crŤme. Itís personal. Once again I find myself proud to be disabled, and therefore, simply by default, in league with an organization thatís doing worlds of good.
When I pulled up my web browser the other day and saw the headline story on United Cerebral Palsyís national website, I nearly jumped for joy -- in spite of the fact that I canít jump. UCP has dedicated a page on their site to disabled Katrina victims and those whoíd like to help them, drawing attention to a cause that would have perhaps gone largely unnoticed otherwise. Disability doesnít hit home with a lot of people, and thatís understandable -- I think you have to be closely affected by it to really take notice. UCP has taken notice. As one of the largest non-for-profit health charities and advocacy groups in America, itís UCPís job to take notice, and then to spread that awareness across the United States. Iíve decided to help them out a little in that respect.
Having said that, hereís what theyíre doing: UCP has set up something called the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund, which is currently accepting donations, a full one-hundred percent of which will go to UCP affiliates who are providing services to disabled Katrina victims. By services, I mean things like medical equipment (think hundreds and hundreds of Purple Chariots), referrals to medical specialists, counseling services, and long-term support. Understandably, no single organization, not even one as large as UCP, can fund all of these things by itself. Thatís where donations come in. Every time someone donates to UCPís special fund, someone gets a wheelchair or crutches or a doctor. Cool, huh?
If youíd like to help out, just go to http://www.ucp.org and click on the link at the bottom of the headline story.
-DCS Bureau Head
ADORE IT/DEPLORE IT
Adore It: People have come forth to help during the disaster---People volunteered to go down and help out, and many of the ones who couldn't go donated money. People all over the country have been kindhearted and generous.
Deplore It: One of our donation cans was stolen, the money taken by a woman in Lock Haven. What kind of low, cruel person would steal money for flood victims collected by a kids' group?
The JJJ Is:
Assistant: Debbie Benfield
President: Krystle Welch
Secretary: Meghan Rockey
Quartermaster: Biz Albright
Staff: Ginger White, Shelby Sander, Cris Miller, Ida Yost
Distant Correspondents: Tiffany Allen, Kazlynn Otto, Regina Spence, MacKenzie Brundage, Amber Fleming, Meghan Wilson, Amber Snow, Goth Lizz
Foreign Bureau: Janice Marco
By now, you all know the story.
Tragedy hit Louisiana and other areas this month, in the form of more than one hurricane. As I write this, millions are homeless, staying with family or friends, or in temporary shelters. Many have lost their jobs, their homes, everything they owned. Many more are dead. All due to natural disasters that we cannot control, and have very little success even predicting.
How small we are, in the face of the natural world.
What else, really, could have been done? We could have evacuated sooner, but truthfully, all that amounts to is running away from the natural disaster. We don't like to admit this, but for us humans, most of the disasters of the world are completely out of our control. We are, actually, very small when compared to the world.
People being what we are, we don't really want to admit that, or even think about it. We'd rather press on, fight the tragedy, do whatever we can, and rebuild and go on with our lives.
Which is what will happen. New Orleans will be rebuilt, and people will move back. Some old citizens will return, and some new ones will join them. The city will come back, one day. It will take a lot of time and money, but it will happen.
People have an infinite capacity for hope.
Today was the last day of our fundraiser, and Tif and I dropped the money off at the Red Cross office. Our contact person, Carol, reported to us that almost a billion dollars have been donated to the various relief and help efforts. As I write this, people are still being trained, going south to help rescue and repair. As I write this, fundraisers are still going on all over the country---Relief efforts, rebuilding organization, rescue. Millions of dollars, thousands of people, all---One way or another---Doing everything that they can to help.
How big we all are, when we bond together to help.
With everyone involved, the impossible task becomes easier. The city will come back....Due to the efforts of everyone involved. If you yourself haven't done something to help yet, consider it. Even a dollar donated becomes a huge help when combined with all the other dollars pouring in.
We are very small. But together, we can pool our efforts and grow. The people who went to rescue....The volunteers of the various charitable organizations....Every single person who donated their time or money....Giants. All of them. All contributing to one huge effort.
We all have the potential to be giants.
And I hope, when the Kids look at me, they think I'm at least an average height.
-Sort of medium-sized, really
How You Can Help
Habitat For Humanity
United Cerebral Palsy
Convoy Of Hope