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Sunday, September 18th, 2005
9:39a - The Need to Be Needed


Everyone is struggling in Katrina's aftermath to be useful. The need to help in a meaningful way is frustrating for many, myself included.

So it was no surprise when the fourth graders wanted to collect a bucketful of change for charity. Labor Day kicked off a four day week, and their campaign. Students gleefully added their "treat" money to the bucket, brought piggy bank change, and solicited from other students, ending up Friday with (fill in exact amount later).

The money is to go to the Red Cross. When Mom called Saturday, I mentioned it, even though it is literally just a drop in the bucket. It elicited a rapture from her on how wonderful the Red Cross has been. She called my a few minutes ago and will send up a package eventually that will show the students what type of things they were given to eat initially, before the churches began cooking.

She said that every day, the Red Cross is still bringing one meal a day. The other day, she was out and G. was in the yard when the man came to the door.

"Let me shake your hand," G. said, starting across the yard on his crutches. He got a hug for his efforts. Later, he told Mom, "I think I'll be shifting one of our charity donations this year."

Mom got several kinds of wonderfully fresh meat, milk, cottage cheese (and joked with another patron, "I seem to remember something about cottage cheese," as she added it to her cart -- had iceberg lettuce, a cucumber and tomatoes, bananas -- and now has lovely fresh food in her brand new refrigerator.

"There's a bird I've never seen before sitting on our cable tv cord about three feet off the ground. I don't know what kind he is. I've seen one squirrel and one blue jay since Katrina."

I suggested if it came back that she take a picture so we could try to identify it. Maybe Katrina is going to change animal habitats, somewhat, too.

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