According to a recent article in The Windy City Times, when all is said and done officials will tally the costs of rescue and rebuilding efforts associated with the damage that Hurricane Katrina caused, but the physical, psychological, and emotional tolls on Gulf Coast residents will be simply incalculable.
Many of the former residents of New Orleans – the most notable example – have to deal with the trauma of now being homeless. Moreover, people will have to contend with survivors’ guilt and the hunt for new places to live.
The crisis has motivated national, regional, and local Lesbian, Bay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) organizations to lend aid in any way they can.
Help is being offered from some unexpected places like Craig’s List. The Chicago LGBT community is also doing its part to assist survivors. Some local businesses and other organizations are contributing.
On Sept. 12th a grassroots group marked that day for a fundraiser, “Out of the Water Cooler, Into The Delta.” The local arts industry is also being philanthropic.
Mississippi Gay & Lesbian Hurricane Katrina Relief fund checks can be made payable to Equality Mississippi and mailed to Box 6021, Jackson, Miss., 39288-6021 with “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line.
The AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) Alliance has established the Katrina AIDS Alliance Emergency Fund which will support the emergency needs of families and young people living with HIV/AIDS served by Ryan White CARE Act Title IV programs in Louisiana and Mississippi.
You can also contact the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to make a donation by calling 773-331-5956 or the National Voluntary Organizations in Disaster to volunteer by going to nvoad.org on the web.
As much as Katrina has been a story of the human spirit is has also become a story of race, according to some. Many have weighed in on the subject.
CBS Radio News reported that New Orleans City Councilman Oliver Thomas said at one point that people were too afraid of Black people to go in and save them. In addition, the network reported that Black members of Congress expressed anger at a slow federal response to the hurricane.
The Walt Disney Company said it would commit $2.5 million to relief and rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Coast region. The cast of “Will & Grace” also donated funds in support of the efforts of former fellow cast member Harry Connick, Jr., a New Orleans native.
And on Sept. 2nd the American Zoo and Aquarium Association announced a national fundraising program headed by Lincoln Park Zoo (lpzoo.com) president Kevin Bell.