The stories and pictures of human and economic grief continue to unfold along the devastated path of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast. They show clearly why massive economic aid and citizen assistance is urgently needed.
If those needs are not met immediately, we soon will see perilous conditions turn into a raging catastrophe of the worst scale in American history.
Many of us have already helped out with monetary or material donations, airlifts and other relief assistance, as well as thousands of prayers. It has become a remarkably American story to see how willingly we generously donate millions of dollars to help people we will never meet who are in dire straits. Most recently the tsunami victims in southern Asia were helped.
But for the grace of God, goes the saying. Well, God’s grace is needed down south today and for many days to come. Now our friends and neighbors in Louisiana and Alabama and Mississippi in particular need our help. Right now that involves seeing that they have the basics of water, food, clothing and shelter, and civil law and order.
Later the need will evolve into helping people return to their homes and then back to work, or to help them replace lost homes and possessions.
As we’ve seen now at home and in other countries, the logistics behind getting the necessities of life to victims of natural disasters is a complex, time-consuming and dangerous task. Helping people in danger often requires rescuers to endanger their own lives.
Everyone who has helped is to be commended, no matter if you are a front-line rescue person or someone donating possessions or money or time to assist Katrina’s victims.
But if you haven’t given, there is still plenty of time to do so. And certainly there are plenty of needs left to fulfill. But they don’t come cheaply. Your donation of money or other necessary supplies is still needed.
If you can spare anything, from a penny to a dollar or hundreds or thousands of dollars, or clothes and ready-to-eat foods, please do so today. The lives and hopes of millions of people are dependent on all of us.