Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hands On Help

I'm enjoying a beautiful, sunshiny Labor Day Weekend in Southern California. I realize how fortunate I am to be safe and dry, with food, clothing and shelter. So I did what small things I could this weekend to help Hurricane Katrina's suffering survivors.

Yesterday, I mailed my two checks. One went to Catholic Charities headquarters in Virginia, to the Hurricane 2005 Relief Fund. The other went to the Soliders' Angels Foundation Operation Katrina Soldiers' Relief Fund.

But mailing a check and physically helping out are two different things. Yesterday, while visiting the Soldiers' Angels website, I saw a request for care packages listing specific items needed:


Fill one or more 1-gallon size Ziploc bag(s) with...

1 new wash cloth
1 new hand towel
1 new bar of soap
1 new comb
1 new fingernail clipper
1new pack of dental floss
1 new toothbrush
1 small travel size tube of toothpaste
1 small travel size shampoo
1 small packet of tissue
1 small package of adhesive bandages

NOTE: All included items need to be new and unused.

Mailing addresses are provided for the packages at the same site. So today, after Mass, I went shopping at Target and Big Lots. It was a good feeling to be doing something "hands on" to help. I made eight packages, 4 ladies and 4 mens. Pete had the great idea of using an attachment on our sweeper to vacuum pack the bags. The ladies packets fit snugly into one priority mailing box, the men's packs in another, we'll ship them out Tuesday via priority mail.

We will return to cash donations for the next round of giving. But for now, doing something tangible for our fellow Americans in need was very gratifying. Boxing up care packages wasn't what I had originally planned to do this Sunday afternoon. But it was certainly more worthwhile than just about anything else.