Gulf Gifts

Rallying behind the levee

September 10, 2005

The word “levee” takes on a more prominent role in the English language, post-Katrina. No longer is our awareness of a life-saving man-made water barrier limited to the “drove my Chevy to the levee” line in the Don McLean chestnut “American Pie.”

Of course, the levee is far from dry in New Orleans, just as much of the landscape in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama is drenched and destroyed.

But not forgotten.

People from around the nation, Oregon and the mid-Columbia Gorge included, are rallying for their fellow Americans thousands of miles away.

Page one of this edition carries information on new ways to help relieve the suffering on the Gulf Coast. Included is Hood River News’ own “Goals for the Gulf,” in which cash donations are made based on the number of touchdowns, soccer goals, volleyball wins, and cross country scores each week by local high school athletes. Call it “competing for a cause,” with the funds going to American Red Cross.

Cash donations are most needed by the Red Cross. District Manager Hannah Settje notes that the agency’s thrust now is to turn donations into debit cards to be used by Katrina refugees to help re-fuel the battered local economies in or near their homes or wherever they have found refuge.

We encourage residents to write checks as large as they are able, but there are other means to give as well. The Hood River County School District revived “Project Pencil,” (details on page A1) as a way to provide supplies for students and teachers who are learning and teaching in classrooms far from home.

One indication of the national nature of this disaster: To make room for some of the estimated 6,000 displaced school children now living in Houston, Texas; the school district is re-opening two elementary schools that were recently closed due to declining enrollment. Those students need pencils, pens, paper, and notebooks. Contact your local school to find out more about how to support “Project Pencil.”

Or try a little “fall cleaning” and give your used, good-condition clothing to any Gorge Windermere Realty office.

Talk about giving “in kind.” It’s our turn to help take care of those whose lives have been wracked by natural disaster. The engineers in New Orleans will need weeks and months to drain the city and restore the levees, but there is no barrier to giving, no matter how far away the recipients live.

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