A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

This is how we do it in America

This is how we should always do things.

USA Today: Private citizens offering public relief in Miss.---

The six men from Combine, Texas, pulled into this hurricane-ravaged town at dawn Monday, unsure where to go.

They had driven all night in two pickups, one pulling a 36-foot cattle trailer that carried the kindness of their small town (pop. 2,000) near Dallas - donations for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"We were having coffee at the only store in town and decided we had to do something," says Carl Bell, a retired utility company worker. They put up a sign in front of the store and by 10 p.m. Sunday, when they left, had a trailer load of donations: diapers, bleach, underwear and other supplies.

The men from Combine arrived in Biloxi after a nine-hour drive and found a Red Cross station. However, the place was so full of relief supplies, they didn't want to leave their donations there. They were directed to the Biloxi police station, where the parking lot has become an impromptu distribution center.

Relief volunteers and private donations like these are pouring into the Gulf Coast to help the hurricane victims. People are driving minivans, pickups and tractor-trailers from across the country to bring unsolicited donations. The items were collected at churches, in Wal-Mart parking lots and at local police departments, the charitable expression of a nation moved by the devastation.

With federal relief efforts struggling, private charities and businesses have played an unusually large role in the recovery effort underway in coastal Mississippi.

"It's not FEMA that's come to the rescue; it's private citizens from around the country who are helping us out," says Biloxi police officer John Holland, who oversees a parking lot at the police station where donated items are dropped and later distributed around the city.

The roar of private enterprise can be heard throughout the Gulf Coast. Convoys of power company trucks are restoring power. Garbage companies are picking up trash. Tree-trimming firms have cleared many roads.
What a great story! Do read the rest!