Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Cruel Katrina

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Rime of The Ancient Mariner"

It hasn't been so very long since we saw images of such utter devastation. Last Christmas time, we watched the tragic wreckage left by a tsunami half a world away.

Today, we're watching video of the cruel and overwhelming destruction that Hurricane Katrina has flung upon our own shores in Louisiana and Mississippi. It's time now for us to help our tragedy-stricken neighbors here at home.

It is still far too early to know the depth and breadth of this catastrophe. It will be weeks, if not months, before utilities are up and running at normal capacity. Stagnant water threatens disease and further deaths. Food, drinking water, clothing, shelter, medication, and care for the young, the old, and the ill have all become critical issues literally overnight. Rescue and medical workers from across the nation are at this moment racing towards the disaster area to offer their welcome and much needed assistance.

What can you and I do to lend a hand?

Please contribute to a reputable charity of your choice, especially one that has a Hurricane Katrina account earmarked for disaster relief. I'm contributing to Catholic Charities. Hugh Hewitt has posted links to churches in the New Orleans, Biloxi, and Gulfport areas. He has floated the outstanding idea of asking our clergymen to offer a partnership with one of the churches in the afflicted regions, for the purpose of providing humanitarian aid directly to the congregations.

Glenn Reynolds has also posted many excellent links to charitable and relief organizations. Choose one or more, and help to support our neighbors in their time of great and urgent need. Be generous, be caring. I know it will be easy for all of us, because this is what Americans do best.