Sunday, December 17, 2006

Gulf Coast still a mess

I rarely do a thing like this, but it is a worthy cause. Over a year since hurricane Katrina hit the U.S., we still have a LOT of people suffering in the areas affected. Politicians made the photo-op trips and offered comforting speeches, but ultimately provided little more in the way of assistance. State and federal officials continue to fall short of the efforts needed to provide food, clothes, shelter, and health care to our citizens. As the second Christmas since the hurricane struck ashore comes upon us, Nicole Brodeur of the Seattle Times and Pastor Patrinell Wright of the Total Experience Gospel Choir and the Oneness Christian Center remind us of how we need to step in when governments fail:

Last year, the area was "inundated" with toys. This year, when Ringdahl called Toys for Tots, looking for something for 150 kids the camp serves, the news was hard: There was only one toy.

"We have a long road ahead of us," Ringdahl said.

I recount all this for Wright, who listens, then turns to me.

"We need a truck," she said. "We need a truck, some toys, some clothing and some money to fill it. I have a driver."

I know better than to argue. So with time pressing against us, we're giving it all we've got.

So I'm begging. If you'd like to donate a toy or a check made out to Wright's nonprofit group, Seattle Artists, you can drop it by the Oneness Christian Center, 2716 E. Cherry St. in Seattle, starting at 10 a.m. today.

Wright will see to it that your help gets there. And if you stay for the 11 a.m. service, she will lift your spirit like she did for all she met in the South.

Please, give what you can to the charity of your choice.

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