Helping out

In a previous post, I wrote:

AKMA has been writing about St. Patrick’s Church in Long Beach, Mississippi, ministered by a friend of his, Rev. David Knight. The church is gone, but the associated school is running as a clinic. If, in addition to your giving to national charities such as Red Cross, you want to make a targeted donation, sounds like the folks in the area could use a little help: manual or monetary.

(AKMA — are there facilities for people to stay in that region, for those wanting to go down and help the Reverend and other folks? Who should we contact? )

Rev. Knight left a comment I wanted to pull out and put into a post:

Hey. I am the David Knight you speak of. I can answer your question. Anyone can contact the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi,, and they will schedule in all volunteers. It is important to go that route so we can coordinate numbers. THey can give details on housing / feeding, although some degree of self-suffieciency is important. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

If you have a block of time and a means to head south, check with the Diocese to see where you can help with cleanup and repair.

I also wanted to point out that Habitat for Humanity, an organization that helps those who normally couldn’t afford it to buy their own home, has come up with an audacious plan to help rebuild homes lost to flooding, wind, or storm surge.

The plan is called Operation Home Delivery. How it will work is that Habitat associates will be recovered, and then incorporated into the second phase. This consists of Habitat units in other cities to build components of homes, which are then packaged up and sent to the south. The southern units, including new volunteers, will then use these modules to quickly build a home — in a week or less. The third phase will be homes built on the spot.

There’s been much discussion about what will happen with New Orleans in particular. I think that we can assume not all neighborhoods will be restored. Some will most likely be deemed too dangerous to recover, and probably should not have been built on in the first place. Hopefully these will be converted into parks for all the citizens to enjoy.

Other neighborhoods will be restored, particularly those less damaged, or of historic interest. Don’t knock historic interest: this is a key element to the city, and to lose the history is to lose much of the soul of New Orleans.

However, there will be entire neighborhoods that won’t be worth restoring, but will be OKed for rebuilding that can be rebuilt using the Habitat for Humanity three phase approach. The advantage to this is that it encourages diversity–because a New Orleans of nothing but wealthy people, is not New Orleans.

Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of the Twin Tower destruction. Of 9/11. It’s memory is marred by the anger and incriminations that reflect our political debate. In particular, we bicker and squabble over memorials: this one is not grand enough, that one too grand, and the one over there looks Islamic.

A better memorial is to save the money from the memorials and put it into building neighborhoods in the south. Name each street, park, community center after the victims. Embed their memories in life, rather than cold granite, and ostentatious glass towers.

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