tracking down katrina-displaced mefites September 6, 2005 11:45 PM   Subscribe

So, by now, many of you probably know about this.
and this other MetaTalk thread. Some of you might have already received emails from me, but in the interest of covering all of our bases, I'm asking for your help. [More Inside]
posted by Jon-o to MetaFilter-Related at 11:45 PM (9 comments total)

If you're hosting any people displaced by the hurricane, or if you're displaced and staying in someone else's home, post here with your contact information or email me (email in profile).
Working with fionab, I'm trying to track down MeFi members who've been affected by the disaster so we can get them some of the funds she's raising.
Extra residents can put a financial strain on a household and we'd like to help reduce that, if we can. Also, if we can compile a list of members and their immediate needs (food, clothes, etc) we can put donors who may have resources other than cash in direct contact with people who need them.

As a side note, I'm wondering what the feasibility of setting up a permanent MetaFilter community charity would be. I proposed it in the MeTa thread that I linked to in the post, but I'd like to formally re-propose it here.
posted by Jon-o at 11:56 PM on September 6, 2005

We're getting ready to take in a family. Will send the info when we do.

(that is what you're asking for, correct?)
posted by justgary at 12:28 AM on September 7, 2005

Yes, justgary. Part of our interest is in helping MeFi members who were directly affected, and partly in helping MeFi members who are taking on responsibility and cost in aiding others. As soon as you know more, email me with the details: if you could use specific items (bedding, clothing, toiletries whatever), or if you could use some financial assistance, let us know. If you are in the area and could use a specific tool to help you rebuild or get others out, let us know.

We'd also like just to *hear* from people in that direct area, because it's proving impossible for me to search the database by zip code. I have some members in one or two zip code regions, so it's easy to find people near them. But if we don't have even one person in a particular zip code, the neighbor feature doesn't work. Searching by zip code doesn't work either, so just having a few members to work from could be incredibly helpful. I [obviously] don't have any programming/db experience, so the search functions and search engines are all I've got. If anyone else knows how to do this, your help is urgently needed.

We won't start handing out help until we know who needs what, so no matter what stage of the process you're in, please get in touch with us so we can make sure not to exclude you. AND, if you know a MeFi member that a) doesn't read MeTa (contrary to popular opinion, we are out there), b) is hosting Katrina survivors c) was directly affected themselves, let us know.

Obviously, the fund will not be massive, so MeFites who are financially secure will likely not request help. But, I'm sure many of you could use a hand in this process, and that's what we're trying to figure out - how to help best.

As for the logistics of setting up a permanent MeFi charity, I have no idea. I'm not adverse to it, but I wouldn't really be able to help out in that area.

And finally, if you want to help out with material goods [instead of or in addition to financial support], email me and I'll make sure to put you on that list. As soon as we know needs, we can co-ordinate supplies.
posted by fionab at 4:41 AM on September 7, 2005

As a side note, I'm wondering what the feasibility of setting up a permanent MetaFilter community charity would be.

They did this on BeliefNet. I think it's still there, but I'm not sure. If you want, I can make some inquiries about what works and what doesn't.
posted by Doohickie at 9:18 AM on September 7, 2005

That'd be great, doohickie.
posted by Jon-o at 10:40 AM on September 7, 2005

OK, we've found some MeFites hosting (many) displaced people from Katrina. We could use some help with bedding, towels, clothing donations. We are helping with food and utilities from the general fund, which is now around $1000 but with promised gifts will be around $2000. Please let me know if you have some bedding, towels or unused toiletries that you can send their way.
posted by fionab at 12:10 PM on September 7, 2005

Fiona, I would be interested in making some in-kind donations, such as towels, clothes, toiletries etc. How can I help?
posted by arcticwoman at 1:22 PM on September 7, 2005

arcticwoman, I sent you an email. Thanks!
posted by fionab at 1:46 PM on September 7, 2005

Ok, there are also kids involved, so we could use backpacks, school supplies, kids' clothing, the works. Let me know if that is a specific interest that you can jump on - everyone's picking one small aspect, which is fantastic and makes a little go a loooong way. The responses from everyone have been amazing. "Yes, I could use a little help, but please make sure others are taken care of too. We have a tent, food and credit cards, which is more than many others in this situation." So far, we've had lots of luck pairing up needs with donors, but this is one aspect we could use a little help with. Thanks!
posted by fionab at 7:23 PM on September 7, 2005

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