One of my good friends, a nurse here in Kansas City, sent me this email:
Would you please also pass on the desperate need for blood donors at this time. The increased demand for blood due to injured Katrina victims is minor when compared to the loss in normal collections. Possibly thousands of units of blood and blood products are normally collected in the gulf region. That has stopped and it will be a very long time before they will be approaching normal collection volumes. Also, the rest of the country is understandably distracted by the disaster. Donations nation wide will drop as people make assisting hurricane victims their focus. All of this at a time of the year that is always difficult for maintaining an adequate blood supply. Everyone is getting their kids back to school and going away for Labor day weekend.
People can go to www.kcblood.org for donation sites and information.
I got this info today from the Missouri Conference:
Jim Wagner in the Gateway Districts office compiled this list of sites where information is being exchanged about displaced people.
Here’s Jim’s message:
Either you or members of your congregations may be searching for family and/or friends who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The following are websites where information is being exchanged. This information will also be posted on the district website later this morning for anyone who needs it (www.gatewaydistricts.org):
Craigslist - New Orleans
Missing Persons Forum
Red Cross and Salvation Army
CNN Katrina Safe List
Katrina: Family - Friends Forum
Volunteer database created
Max Marble has created a database of people willing to volunteer time, equipment, space in their homes, etc., to help hurricane refugees. Those wanting to volunteer in any way can go online and fill out the form Max has placed there. Go to http://www.umocm.com/Hurricane%20Katrina.htm.
And this story came through the Missouri Conference email today, also:
Refugees find shelter in Sikeston
The Sikeston community in southeast Missouri is pulling together to assist the dozens of refugees who traveled into Missouri and finally found shelter from Hurricane Katrina in Sikeston. Geoff Posegate, pastor at First UMC in Sikeston, says that they’ve had between 60-100 people seeking refuge each night. On Monday, when they discovered that there were needs, the church organized efforts to feed refugees and provide whatever additional help was needed. Last night, First UMC hosted a meeting with other churches and community members to further organize the efforts. He said they filled their chapel with people who wanted to help, and they plan another coordination meeting tonight. Debbie Austin, a member of the congregation, started the ball rolling, along with Jill Hopson, the church’s small group ministry director, and Kendall Elledge, their children and family ministries director. For more information, or to offer help, call the First UMC in Sikeston at 573-471-3283.
What can you do? Give blood; write a check; make a "flood bucket" to send to UMCOR; open up your home to refugees; pray. God's children are called to response - I urge you to act.
Grace and Peace,