6:31 PM — Any Refugee
As per the tradition of sending "Any Soldier" boxes to WW2 (and more recently, Iraq) soldiers, I have put together four "Any Katrina Refugee" boxes/care packages. Each one included a letter as follows:
Any Katrina Refugee
8400 Kirby Dr
Houston, TX 77054
September 1, 2005
Please find enclosed in this package some goods that may be of use to yourself, friends, family, or fellow refugees. One of the items I have included is materials so that you can send a letter to relatives or friends outside the disaster zone so you can tell them you’re ok. I especially encourage you to share these among others, since if you contact just one or two people you know they can tell everyone else. If you wish to reply in the future sometime, my contact info is below, but you do not need to do so.
The nation and the world is following your story and doing what we can to help. You are in our thoughts and I hope for the best for you.
In each of the four boxes I put 10 pre-stamped envelopes, 10 sheets of paper, 2-3 pens, and some of them got cans of food that I've had in my pantry for years, small stuffed dolls my Mother gave me that I never really wanted, sample sizes or travel containers of shampoo and body wash (inside two ziplock bags each), and CureAd-brand Bandaids (the adhesive is too strong for me and hurts my skin). Two of the four boxes also have maxi-pads (ones I've had sitting around since I perfer tampons these days) and are addressed to "Any Female Katrina Refugee." I've heard pads are also good for injuries and sweat, so even if men get them they may get used.
I heard on the radio that people are bringing donations to the Astrodome but the Red Cross (who're running it) don't have the facilities to distribute it. I'm hoping that since I'm sending these as USPS mailed packages, that the postal worker will just hand it to some random person, and that will be the end of the burden of my package on the system. I find it interesting that I never got much in the way of care packages while I was in college - my mom sent newspaper clippings, but not cookies - and yet I'm sending these boxes. The total cost shouldn't be too bad: the paper goods and items I already had, $37 for a roll of 100 stamps but I only used 40 ($14.80), and each package I expect will be around $4-7, so my total cost will be less than $40.
Oh, and the person I helped on the phone last night, L***, she did get in contact with her two friends, J*** and C***. She hasn't yet reached her parents, who lived on the North side of lake Pontchartrain (sp?). I told her to have patience, as if they're ok contacting her is on the top of their list and may take weeks to do. In the meantime she (and anyone else affected) should keep doing normal things like going to work and eating, spend a lot of time with friends, and find a support group. I even gave her my number in case she just wanted someone else to talk to.