Tuesday, September 06, 2005

One white backpack needed--& chapstick! [Updated]

The backpack is a long shot, I know, but Othniel asked me to post this request. He met a survivor who is blind and has some mental health issues, and his white backpack, now lost, was very important to him. He really needs another one for peace of mind. If anyone has one or locates one for him, please post in the comments here, so we'll know that's one thing we can check off.
[UPDATE ON BACKPACK:] Check the backpack off the list. Thanks!

[UPDATE:] Also, lots and lots of requests for Chapstick!

[UPDATE 2:] Whoever left all the donations on my porch this afternoon, thanks! It looked like it was Christmas!

[UPDATE 3:] For important information when working directly with hurricane survivors, read the comments to this post.


Blogger Jackie said...

I didn't see a white backpack this morning, but there is SO MUCH STUFF at Freescale that there may be one in the mountains of donations.

There's still so much to do there with the sorting and organizing. Needed items like men's underwear and pajamas - much of it is probably there if we can just find it. Head on over and help out if you have a few hours. People trying to donate are being turned away, but volunteers to sort are being let in.

12:05 PM  
Blogger roses said...

Thanks, Jackie. That would be so cool if you could locate a white backpack amid the donations. I have to work on my job today, so I can't volunteer, but I did take a load of stuff over to Othniel at lunchtime for direct delivery at the convention center.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

roses - could you ask othniel next time you see/talk to him - has anyone thought to ask any of the survivors if they'd like to come to Freescale and help? I read that there are some people who are here by themselves, no kids or older relatives to worry about - especially men - who must be at loose ends going stir crazy.

I can't go tomorrow, but I can go Thursday morning and would be happy to stop by the convention center and pick up 2-3 folks who'd like to go with me.

2:44 PM  
Blogger roses said...

Good idea, Jackie! I'll probably talk to him later tonight. He might stop by and post here too.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Othniel said...

If you involve any survirors you must have an exit strategy for them. Remember many of these people were trapped and would actually feel more trapped offsite in unfamiliar territory than in the convention center where they know they are free to come and go and have learned the local turf. Also be very sensitive to the normal human response of being eager to please and overcommitting to what one can handle. There is still a lot of shock. Many want to help for 5 minutes becasue they believe it is expected of them, then get overwhelmed and very, very tired. Better would be to take a walk and ask the perosn to take a few items in and distribute where needed, rather than removing them from their support group. They meet a lot of thier helping needs within the population by escorting the elderly to meals and mediacl facilities and sharing information, etc.

Also, amny are not yet ready to cross the river, so be especially sensitive when going for walks, etc. I have seen one guy go almost panicky over this but others are unaffected.

Mnny Austin hotels are offering free rooms but meals must still be had at the convention center or funded. Transport is an issue. It would be a really cool Austin thing to do to go with someone to learn the bus routes.

Remember they do not yet have thier strength back, and longer walks are a problem. I took 4 people to La Quinta when I left last night and made sure they had cab fare fo in the morning to get back to breakfast if they choose - La Quinta does have a contintal tyoe breakfast, though no other meals.

Also going offsite tommorow is a problem as FEMA is starting to hold seminars, etc., The Texas WOrkForce and AISD are on site, as well as many Austin area beauty salon type folk who are a najor hit.

Ols luggage is a need now as many are relocating elsewhere with more than they came here with to join family members.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Janet Strange said...

Thanks for replying, othniel. Thats the kind of thing we need to know. I'm just flailing about looking for a way to help. I've heard that only those "approved" by the Red Cross with wristbands are allowed in the Convention Center. True? If so, how do we connect? (I went by the Red Cross office on Pershing Monday and filled out forms - they said, "We'll call you.") I worry about just showing up and being in the way.

When I was at Freescale today, several times I saw city trucks come through and pick up loads - always of suitcases, and there were a lot of suitcases. So I hope that at least that need is beginning to be met.

Keep us posted with specifics. I'm thinking that now that the flurry of dropping off loads o' stuff at Freescale is over, and people are back to work after the holiday, there will be a need for more volunteers with practical assistance.

Like, for those who don't have a place to "move on to" right away - where will the kids be in school? Will school buses come to take them there? Would a parent appreciate a ride to see where the school is and maybe meet with the teacher? Or better yet, figuring out how to do that on the city bus and going with them? If so, or something like that, let us know HOW to do whatever-it-is that needs doing.

Thanks. Not just for replying but for all you're doing. Big hug to you.

11:32 PM  
Blogger refinish69 said...

I have provided the wish list to the HR director where I work. An email was sent out to everyone and flyers have been put up around the building. I delivered a box of books and some stuffed animals directly to the Convention Center on Friday. I left more teddy bears, dolls, chapstick and visine with othneil. I am sure I will have more things to deliver on Monday.

4:54 PM  

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