Saturday, September 10, 2005

Still dealing

Katrina. Evacuee. FEMA. It never ceases to amaze me how simple words and names can suddenly hold so much more intense meaning. We will always know what people mean when they say Katrina, Nine-Eleven, George W., Vioxx, Enron, etc.

I continue to get hit unexpectedly by Katrina. I stepped away from the news a bit this past week. Really, I had to. It was too much for my head and heart. Liam has been getting more clingy anyway so there really wasn't too much time for watching t.v. On Tuesday, we headed to Target to buy a backpack and school supplies for this donation program. We were surrounded by other mothers and kids getting their back-to-school supplies and checking off items on their lists. It was very normal. Very day-to-day. We picked up some other stuff and headed home.

That afternoon Liam was playing well independently (read: not clinging to me, whining) so I decided to pack up the backpack. There are notebooks and a binder. Binder paper and a ruler. Pens, pencils and markers. Post-its. Tissues and Chapstick. Three travel size toothpastes, a toothbrush and a toothbrush holder. Mini notepad/journal and stickers. Starburst, Skittles and granola bars.

As I zipped it up, I was suddenly OVERWHELMED with a sense of futility. Of this one backback in a sea of thousands of children. Of the smallness of it all. Of the enormity of the situation and the sadness and the devastation. This measly backpack. I hung over the pack and the sobs just started racking my body. I was crying for all of it, really. Not just the gesture, but for all the people on the Gulf Coast who are displaced everywhere. For the little guy heading to class in a new school with no home to go to afterwards. With borrowed clothes, hoping the kids won't label him the "homeless Katrina kid."

Liam rounded the corner and saw MumMum being sad and started to cry so I quickly cleaned up my act, diverted his attention and put the backpack aside for Dan to ship out the next day.

When Dan was at his office, a woman saw the backpack - it is bright orange - and asked him if it was his. He said no and told her about the program. She asked if she could look in it. She looked at the items I had placed in there the day before, actually commenting on the thoughtfulness of some items like the candy and the tissues and Chapstick. Then she said she wanted to send one too. And asked him to get her the program information.

That made my seemingly small act feel so much bigger.

The following is a list of shelters in Mississippi accepting in kind donations (snagged from this blog).

Community Chapel Church of God, 101 Oakland Dr., Natchez 39120
David E. Steckler Multi-Purpose Building, 311 Liberty Road, Natchez 39120
Natches Adams High Gym, 319 Seargent S. Prentiss Dr., Natchez 39120
Parkway Baptist Church, 117 Sgt. Prentiss Dr., Natchez 39120
Washington Baptist Church, 39 Old Hwy 84 #1, Natchez 39120
UFCW United Union Hall, 101 Mount Carmel Drive, Natchez 39120
Corner of Hwy 45 and Bryan Industrial Road West Point,
Copiah-Lincoln Community College, Hwy 51 Wesson 39191
Crystal Springs High School, 201 Newton, Crystal Springs, 39059
Crystal Springs Middle School, S. Pat Harrison Dr., Crystal Springs, 39059
First Baptist Church, Old Hwy 27, Hazlehurst, 39083
Hazlehurst Elementary School, 431 Monticello, Hazlehurst, 39083
Hazlehurst High School, 101 South Haley, Hazlehurst, 39083
National Guard Armory-C. Springs, Harmony and Band Rd., Crystal Springs, 39059
National Guard Armory-Hazlehurst, Whitworth St., Hazlehurst, 39083
Shady Grove Baptist Church, 10190 Shady Grove S., Hazlehurst, 39083
Wesson Attendance Center, 532 Grove St., Wesson, 39191
Collins Elem. School, 401 Dogwood Ave, Collins, 39428
Collins High School, 1208 South Dogwood Ave, Collins, 39428


  • At 8:00 PM, September 11, 2005, Blogger Carrie said…

    hey babe--- every little bit helps, plain and simple.

    if that doesn't get you warm and fuzzy, just remember that for every kind action Liam sees you do, he will most likely do ten times the amount in his long life ahead of him.

    Keep it up. for the sake of the people on the receiving end of your kindness, as well as all the little (and big) eyes that learn from you.


  • At 10:03 PM, September 11, 2005, Blogger Claire said…

    One backpack may seem small, but think of how overjoyed the one kid will be, that a random stranger was thinking of and wanted to make life a little better for him/her. I say way to go, Suzie.

  • At 7:55 PM, September 12, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've heard you need to watch some organizations you give your money to... some only give less then half to the people the money is for... don't know if that is the case with the charities you listed but... you just have to be careful.

  • At 9:48 AM, September 14, 2005, Blogger Misfit Hausfrau said…

    Every bit helps! That was a great thing to do.


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