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  • Greetings from Houston

    I had the week off of work, and so I decided to come down to Houston with three others from my church. We wanted to help in a real practical way with the relief efforts, and am glad that we came down.

    We brought down a pretty big load of water, pop tarts, and granola bars. The Houston Food Bank is the central drop off location for food, and they had palettes and palettes full of donated food. There were several volunteers there working, and trucks coming in and out dropping off and picking up loads.

    We intended to get plugged into the Southern Baptist Operation Rescue, which is preparing and serving the food at a lot of these shelters. In order to help with this group, there is disaster relief training that you must go through. Since we hadn't had the training yet, we went to the general volunteer entrance of the G R Brown Convention Center.

    This place is unbelievable.. They are housing 8800 evacuees. They have the convention center divided up into different sections, such as a section for single men, women with children, etc. Wal-Mart donated the air mattresses that they are sleeping on.. literally wall to wall air mattresses. The convention center is HUGE, it extends several city blocks.

    The group from my church worked at the information tables yesterday. The information tables serve two main purposes.. to answer any kind of question that the evacuees have (from unemployment to food stamps to fema), and also to help evacuees get in touch with loved ones and friends. There are about 10 computers set up and connected to a katrina database.. in which you can type in names and see if their location is known. It can be very rewarding if you are able to give the evacuees phone numbers of where the person they are looking for is staying.. and also very tough if you can't find that person in the system at all. The database is NOT set up very well at all, and as of yesterday, all the shelters were not connected into it. FEMA is supposed to show up today.. and everyone wants to talk to them to get information on housing. Hopefully FEMA will be able to handle the load.

    Contrary to how the news media sometimes might portray the evacuees.. for the most part they are NOT hostile and are VERY grateful for any help that can be provided. They are so thankful anytime we can give them information they can use..

    The volunteers are great. A lot of people of faith and people with great servant hearts.

    I will hopefully be able to provide more updates throughout the week!

  • #2
    Good stuf Dooz.

    My wife and I have some casino ties, and there has been a contigent of some 350 folks organized and waiting for word. Looks like first stop will be shreveport.
    Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dooz@Sep 7 2005, 08:07 AM
      I had the week off of work, and so I decided to come down to Houston with three others from my church. We wanted to help in a real practical way with the relief efforts, and am glad that we came down.

      We brought down a pretty big load of water, pop tarts, and granola bars. The Houston Food Bank is the central drop off location for food, and they had palettes and palettes full of donated food. There were several volunteers there working, and trucks coming in and out dropping off and picking up loads.

      We intended to get plugged into the Southern Baptist Operation Rescue, which is preparing and serving the food at a lot of these shelters. In order to help with this group, there is disaster relief training that you must go through. Since we hadn't had the training yet, we went to the general volunteer entrance of the G R Brown Convention Center.

      This place is unbelievable.. They are housing 8800 evacuees. They have the convention center divided up into different sections, such as a section for single men, women with children, etc. Wal-Mart donated the air mattresses that they are sleeping on.. literally wall to wall air mattresses. The convention center is HUGE, it extends several city blocks.

      The group from my church worked at the information tables yesterday. The information tables serve two main purposes.. to answer any kind of question that the evacuees have (from unemployment to food stamps to fema), and also to help evacuees get in touch with loved ones and friends. There are about 10 computers set up and connected to a katrina database.. in which you can type in names and see if their location is known. It can be very rewarding if you are able to give the evacuees phone numbers of where the person they are looking for is staying.. and also very tough if you can't find that person in the system at all. The database is NOT set up very well at all, and as of yesterday, all the shelters were not connected into it. FEMA is supposed to show up today.. and everyone wants to talk to them to get information on housing. Hopefully FEMA will be able to handle the load.

      Contrary to how the news media sometimes might portray the evacuees.. for the most part they are NOT hostile and are VERY grateful for any help that can be provided. They are so thankful anytime we can give them information they can use..

      The volunteers are great. A lot of people of faith and people with great servant hearts.

      I will hopefully be able to provide more updates throughout the week!
      Very impressive, thanks for the update too!
      No president wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true
      President George W. Bush, March 21, 2006

      I'm a war president
      President George W. Bush, February 8, 2004

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      • #4
        Good for you, and good for the folks you are helping. Thanks for your commitment.

        Moon

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        • #5
          good stuff ...
          Dude. Can. Fly.

          Comment


          • #6
            Great job, Dooz. I appreciate your effort on behalf of those unfortunate people. May God bless you and your family for that impressive sacrifice.
            RIP Stan the Man
            The StL Blues will NEVER win the Stanley Cup. I repeat, NEVER!
            I miss TLR!

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            • #7
              Dooz - congrats on doing the right thing. I wish I had the time to help out like you have.
              Official sponsor of Mike Shannon's Retirement Party

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Moon Man@Sep 7 2005, 07:11 AM
                Good for you, and good for the folks you are helping. Thanks for your commitment.

                Moon
                Forget the government. It's people like Dooz that will turn this thing around. I wish I could be there to help him.
                "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
                --Albert Einstein

                Comment


                • #9
                  Dooz,

                  Great job! God bless you for what you're doing. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and the people you are helping.
                  "It would have been difficult for us to discuss it with his dick in my mouth, so evidently I don't know him that well."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Excelllent news.

                    I went to Houston this summer and I am going to go back every summer. It is a great city.

                    The convention center there is an awesome facility. The other center in front of the dome and in front of Reliant is also a great place.

                    Houston is the perfect city for refugees. They have plenty of people there with Texas sized hearts that will help out.
                    Official Sponsor of Jim Edmonds & John Smoltz

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                    • #11
                      That's a great thing you're doing, Dooz. Keep up the excellent work!
                      Official Sponsor of the National League Three-Peat.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for going, Dooz!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kennyboyerfan+Sep 7 2005, 09:01 AM-->
                          QUOTE(kennyboyerfan @ Sep 7 2005, 09:01 AM)

                        • #14
                          Attention whore.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            We worked again today at the information center at the convention center. FEMA was there today but they didn't seem to have enough people and weren't there long enough. They were only registering people with last names from M-Z.. and were not giving out the vouchers that a lot of evacuees were hoping for.

                            The highlight of the day was Bill Cosby. He addressed the convention hall over the loundspeakers, and gave a great pep talk about being real people of courage. He stressed the great opportunity that lies ahead to begin a new life. He talked about making sure that the kids get a solid education. He talked about faith, and how God helps those who help themselves. He told them about how everybody is thinking about them throughout the country, and is donating money and time to the cause.

                            I have met people over the last few days with some unbelievable stories. Some have been rescued off of rooftops by helicopter, others are totally separated from their families with no idea where they are. One lady came to me because she needed to get checks cashed, and she pulled out her checkbook to show us how all the checks were soaking wet and unusable. Today I helped a 70 year old blind man named Luis fill out an application for food stamps. He was left for dead in New Orleans, until a lady that he didn't know was able to get him out of the city and she is letting him stay with her.

                            Supposedly, there will be a great opportunity to pitch in and help in Chesterfield. I was very fortunate to have this week off and the opportunity was there for me to take. I couldn't have done it any other week. I have heard that Gumbo in Chesterfield will be full of evacuees, and volunteers will definitely be needed. I know a lot of local churches are already banding together to get volunteer groups together.

                            The real heroes are going to be the families that allow evacuees to come and live with them. We have a few families at my church who are willing to do this. This is much more than a weeklong sacrifice.. it could be months and months. We will possibly be bringing as many as 3 evacuees back with us to STL for them to live with some of our church members.

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