Hurricane Katrina Support Fund September 1, 2005 5:15 PM   Subscribe

What do we think about creating some kind of fund to help support MeFi members involved in the rebuilding and humanitarian efforts after Katrina? How can we do this?
posted by fionab to MetaFilter-Related at 5:15 PM (23 comments total)

It sounds like ColdChef (and Vidiot?) and others are down there and in the thick of things. I'm sure many of us have donated to Red Cross or other humanitarian relief groups. BUT, one of the things that makes MetaFilter special is the community - perhaps we can put this community to good use. I don't know the financial situation of anyone involved in this, but perhaps we can have a) someone set up a Drop Cash fund and b) someone down there to use it wisely. It sounds like they are involved 'on the ground' so to speak, and might be able to use some financial relief right about now - gas to drive people out of the city, gas for generators and saws, clothes, food, etc. I don't know, we could buy a huge gas card for them, or grocery store gift card, or somehow arrange items from online to be sent somewhere down there for his distribution. For those of you involved down there: a) would this be appreciated and/or needed, or are we best to keep sending $ to the Red Cross/other relief, and b) who wants to help set this up?

I don't want to be somehow prioritizing the US disaster over others (tsunami, Turkish earthquakes, famines in parts of Africa, etc.), but if anyone else is interested in getting together for this (even if it's just a bunch of us that buy a gas card or food gift card to send down), post here so we can organize something.
posted by fionab at 5:16 PM on September 1, 2005

Yeah, I'd certainly kick in some dough for any members that could use the help in nola.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:12 PM on September 1, 2005

I'd be down, too... assuming we could do in some responsible manner.
posted by ph00dz at 6:41 PM on September 1, 2005

We have members who evacuated and are still elsewhere (suckerpunch and others)--i'm sure they could use help, but how to get it to them?
posted by amberglow at 7:03 PM on September 1, 2005

13 MetaFilter users near this user:
bukvich 70005
superchris 70115
ariana 70115
ab3 70115
hartsell 70115
sil3ntstatic 70116
maxsparber 70116
radioamy 70118
ajr 70118
brundlefly 70118
samuelad 70125
Igor XA 70130
govtdrone 70131
posted by amberglow at 7:04 PM on September 1, 2005

Thank you.
posted by atchafalaya at 7:22 PM on September 1, 2005

Yeah, you're right of course, that there are many members down there, and how to be fair, etc. How about this: we email the people listed in that area to ask if they need a little financial help to get them through the next little while. Those that respond in the affirmative can be put on the [could be private] list. The pot gets divided amongst them, or something like that.

I think my suggestion at the moment would be a DropCash fund. Those that can't/don't use PayPal, could send whomever administrates the fund a cheque. The DropCash thing is free [I think], and we can see how much money is coming in - it's not just the admin who knows how much money is there. One or more of us then buys a giftcard for something that the recipient requests (see above: food, gas, Home Depot, etc.) and we get the resulting gift card(s) to our members in NOLA. Or we just send each of those on the list their share, and assume that in times like these, they'd obviously be going to a good cause.

We could divide it amongst those of them that could use it. At the moment, it just seems like anyone who has anything is giving to those around them; I'm all the way up here in grad school and can't do a damn thing, but we could help vicariously. We all keep saying, "we wish there was something we could do" to our members who are posting from that area, and perhaps this *is* something we could do. I don't know, I wouldn't want to inadverdently hurt someone by asking, or leaving someone out, or not being able to get in touch with those that need it the most and can't respond, the complicating factors are obviously numerous. It's just an idea, after seeing the thousands of comments before, during and after the storm, the coverage, the floods, the high emotions, the concern, the updates, the disgust, the thoughts of good wishes, the everything. If the logistics overwhelm the good intention and $$ of members, then that's fine, but I thought it would be worth a go. Something tells me that we could figure out a good way to do it, but I'll step back and see what others have to say.
posted by fionab at 7:23 PM on September 1, 2005

Not for me, I mean, for them. But hey, I'll be volunteering at shelters in Lafayette. Last hurricane there were people in shelters for months. Long after this drops off the front page, there will be people living in shelters.
posted by atchafalaya at 7:25 PM on September 1, 2005

atcha, can you get us a list of the affected zipcodes? we can match them against the userlist or something.
posted by amberglow at 7:28 PM on September 1, 2005

These are the zipcodes with alterations to postal service due to Katrina. That would be a start. These are the three-number prefixes for the worst damaged post offices/districts, which might not be the same but is a good guess:

365-366 Mobile, AL.
369, 393 Meridian, MS.
394 Hattiesburg, MS.
395 Gulfport, MS.
396 McComb, MS.
700-701 New Orleans, LA.
703 Houma, LA.
704 Mandeville, LA.
posted by fionab at 7:34 PM on September 1, 2005

I'm in New York, fionab. (Thanks for thinking of me, but I confess I'm not sure why you did. ;-) )

Yeah, count me in for donations.
posted by Vidiot at 7:46 PM on September 1, 2005

Oops, I saw your name mentioned in the ColdChef thread below as someone who could help, and I correlated that with someone who could get to the person in need. But now I see that I totally misunderstood/read, and that you work for TV and could have helped him that way. Sorry!
posted by fionab at 7:55 PM on September 1, 2005

ah, no big deal. Yeah, I work for -- um, a news network -- and some friends thought I could work connections on that end.
posted by Vidiot at 8:02 PM on September 1, 2005

I've heard that ariana 70115 is fine.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:10 PM on September 1, 2005

matt, can you scrape the database using those numbers fiona got, and make a master list? we can email all of them, etc.
posted by amberglow at 8:31 PM on September 1, 2005

I'm not sure how many people will have access to e-mail...but it's a start.
posted by Vidiot at 8:32 PM on September 1, 2005

it's really the only contact info we have, no?
posted by amberglow at 8:33 PM on September 1, 2005

I'm in.
posted by realcountrymusic at 9:07 PM on September 1, 2005

Well, I will try to donate some money after the 15th, when I have some, if ya'll can figure out something to do with it :P
posted by delmoi at 9:30 PM on September 1, 2005

Just so long as UN Owen doesn't get any.
posted by drezdn at 10:48 PM on September 1, 2005

I'd be up for that.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:55 AM on September 3, 2005

Fund is live now.
posted by Vidiot at 11:34 AM on September 4, 2005

If anyone still reading this has a few of the user names for the zip codes listed above, it would make this process infinitely easier. Even if you could post a list of known MeFi people in that area, that would be great [or email it to me].
posted by fionab at 10:48 AM on September 5, 2005

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