The Nondating Life

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Another Louisiana town in need

That said, the good folks in St. Landry Parish seem to be raking in a fair amount of goods from other parts in the country. Not so for Ville Platte, Louisiana, where my mama's people live.

Evacuees who've landed in Ville Platte are spread throughout the area in people's homes, in hotels and at Chicot State Park (where I spent quite a bit of time as a child). There is no central shelter, but the Ville Platte Northside Civic Center, which is receiving NO GOVERNMENT OR RED CROSS ASSISTANCE at this point, is acting as a food and clothes bank and a central clearing house.

I just got off the phone with Barbara Delafosse of the Civic Center (who, not suprisingly, knows my god mother). She said that they don't need clothes. But they could use:

*Canned goods
*Non-perishable food items
*Diapers. Size 2 diapers would be a help as apparently three evacuee babies have been born in the last few weeks
*And, for people who'll be returning to their homes (hopefully soon), cleaning supplies.

Ms. Delafosse pointed out that, yes, some of these things are hard to ship, but she also suggested Wal-Mart Gift Cards, which can be purchased online here. Another good thing about the cards, most of which will be handed directly to evacuees, is that they can be used for gas (Wal-Mart rocks).

So, if you have it left in you (or your pocketbook), send those cards or cans of creamed corn to

Katrina Relief Fund
Ville Platte Northside Civic Center
Attention: Barbara Delafosse/Jennifer Vidrine
704 North Soileau Street
Ville Platte, La. 70586

If you want to send a check, make it payable to Katrina Relief Fund-Ville Platte. For the next couple of weeks any donations to PayPal will go to these guys.

And even if you're closet, checkbook, mind or whatever is exhausted, provide a link. Thanks!

By the way, Ville Platte is home to both the Cotton Festival and the Smoked Meat Festival. MMMMMMMmmmmmm, smoked meat.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Help Evacuees in St. Landry Parish

Understandably, sitting on the sidelines in New York and watching fellow Americans suffer is as frustrating as it is heart-breaking. Especially for those of us from Louisiana and living elsewhere, we want to do something more than just send money to the American Red Cross, with the vague sense of unease that it may get spent on a company car or a press release or a box of donuts at headquarters. And hopping in a rental car or on a plane is not only a direct violation of FEMA orders, but at this point, with gas as high as it is, it's prohibitively expensive, possibly dangerous and THAT money might be better spent on relief efforts.

So here's your chance to help one specific group of people. My friend Felicia, who you've read about in previous posts, is on a task force in St. Landry Parish, in Opelousas to be more precise. Opelousas, as many of you know, is my home town. There are currently a great deal of refugees who've ended up there--in the churches, in the shelters, in the Yambilee building, camping out in the parks--and they're going to need things.

For a closer look at what's going on in Opelousas and St. Landry Parish, check out The Opelousas Daily World.

So... Felicia is providing me and you with her home address. Care packages and checks specifically to help this group of people can be sent to her. Be sure to include a return address and your name.

St. Landry Katrina Relief
c/o Felicia Mouton
1022 Eddins Avenue
Opelousas, LA 70570

Things that are needed

Felicia says that while you can send clothes and food, those things are generally accounted for. Instead, she says, send

baby wipes, diapers, tampons, sanitary napkins, underwear, undershirts, Q-tips, cotton balls, dental floss, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoos, soaps, etc....basically, anything you and I would by at Walgreen's for personal upkeep. These things are rarely thought of. The best way to purchase this kind of stuff is to actually in travel size so that individual packets can be given to people, and they don't have to share.

Also, anything for children, such as toys that don't necessarily have to be shared or want to be stolen, art paper, colors, coloring books, reading books...easy stuff. AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES! DON'T FORGET SCHOOL SUPPLIES!

In general, don't send anything worth money because in these type of shelters (well, in any that I've had to stay in/work in) things will be taken.

If you do want to send money, make checks payable to "Hurricane Katrina, St. Landry Parish Fund." From here on out, any money put into my PayPal account will go to this relief effort.

I would ask that anyone and everyone who reads my blog, who links to my blog, who has a home on my sidebar either contribute or at least provide a link to this post. Please. I'm begging here. Thank you all very much.

This will be my last post for the weekend. Have a great Labor Day.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


The blogosphere today is conducting a concerted effort to raise money for victims of Katrina. I'm going to suggest donating be made to the American Red Cross or America's Second Harvest. I'm a secular kind of guy and it will go well with the 10K I won for them at that Hold 'Em tournament earlier this year. I've never received any money through my PayPal button, but any money sent in through PayPal for the time being will be donated to the American Red Cross.

If you want to donate to a specific charity for relgious or other reasons, go to Instapundit and just start scrolling. He's got them all listed there. FEMA's list of recommended charities is here.

Incidentally, here is FEMA's Louisiana news page.

For folks in New York, I've talked to a couple of people and we're going to try to get some sort of benefit going as soon as possible. On CNN this morning Wynton Marsalis said he and some others will play a relief show, called Higher Ground, at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Sept. 17. No info on the site as of yet, but keep checking in.

Much more Katrina stuff on my other blog.