INO Records recording artist Sara Groves is leading by example in the drive to bring much needed aid and supplies to the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. With the help of her local radio station, her family, and her church, the singer-songwriter packed up her tour bus with diapers and other baby supplies and headed over 1,600 km south to Slidell, a suburb of New Orleans.
While there, Groves saw first-hand not only the devastation and horror left in Katrina's wake, but also the committed work of volunteers from organizations currently taking some heat for their alleged foot-dragging in response to the disaster.
"There is a lot of finger pointing going on," said Groves, "but from what I could tell, FEMA [the US Federal Emergency Management Agency], the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other organizations could work around the clock for a year and just scratch the surface. There is no one organization that could respond enough, or fast enough. There is a tremendous need for lay people, like the group at these churches where we worked that just sprung into action, to respond over the next two years."
Groves suggested many ways for people to help in the immediate future, including sending money through a reputable organization, sending needed supplies or, if possible, getting together with others and visiting the area to help out first-hand. If you can't make it down there, people in the area are currently most in need of cleaning supplies and bedding materials. Used clothing donations are, however, currently not required.
Writer: Neil McDonald