Posted by: emjb | September 3, 2005

Help Still Needed

Hey I do keep meaning to post something light and fluffy, as we’ve all had our fill of tragedy this week; right as I was working on that, I get an email from my friend in San Antonio:

As y’all know, I work for Baptist Child and Family Services. We are helping with the refugees of Katrina — 25,000 are pouring into SA. We are taking care of the special needs refugees – the elderly, the ill, the mentally ill. Last I knew, we were also responsible for providing care for about 300+ foster children displaced by the hurricane. The situation changes by the minute.

We received our first refugees today. Incredible. The number of refugees is just stunning and today was just the first day. The sheer chaos — all of it. I worked with one woman who was searching for her kids. They had gotten separated at the shelter. She said to me “We made it through all of that fine and NOW NOW we get separated. NOW I lose my children!” I worked with her for an hour and a half. Then got pulled off. Later I was on campus and I saw her with her boy. I hugged her out of sheer joy. She hugged me hard.

Another woman came up and asked if we were with the center. When we said yes, she started crying. Her grandmother was in our shelter….alive.

More and more like that…. a mom with her 5 day old baby — a C-section.

And this is only the first day — only fhe first 13 hour shift. If you live in San Antonio and you want to volunteer, call 512- 832-5000. If you would consider making a donation to help us with the cost of supporting these refugees, log on to http://www.bcfs.net

But most importantly, just pray. These people are so devastated. Yet so many of them remain thankful for their own lives, thankful to God for protection. It is amazing. Please pray for them — pray for our staff as we work 12+ hour shifts for the next forseeable future. Pray that we have the resources. Pray that the refugees feel the love and support they need at this devastating time.

If helping out a Baptist organization isn’t your thing, the the Red Cross still needs your time and money. But I just wanted to give ya’ll a glimpse of how far reaching this is; San Antonio is hundreds of miles from home for these people, and the job all the cities have to do taking in the homeless is enormous, and likely to stay so for a while. If your city is taking in refugees, and you know of any way to help with time, tutoring, medical support, or finding jobs for them, then you are needed.

I just got this from my mom, too:

Dallas Reunion Arena & Convention Center, as well as FW Convention Center are both at capacity. We are expecting these evacuees to remain for quite a while and they are already being enrolled in school – with very little documentation. I can see that we will be experiencing all kinds of problems in the future as they are expected to take up to 6 months just to find a place to live. It is more than anyone could imagine. (Her husband) & I put together quite a few boxes of things, including all of (my niece’s) ‘s baby clothes that were pink. Know that there are a lot of babies & people need such basic things. We’ll be working with our church to do some more – planning in the morning.

What a mess this has been but I want get started on how I feel about all this – I was only watching on TV. I talked with (my sister in Gulfport, AL) & she said that gas was becoming a problem there, bussing in lots of kids from about 30-40 miles away. She & (her husband) were closer to this storm that she wants to talk about – said about 30 miles from them.

Gas here is outrageous – over $3.00 today – no telling what it will be tomorrow. Anyway, I am grateful now more than ever for what we have, although it seems to be shrinking each day. Housing is going to be the biggest problem. Appreciate Christina and what she is doing – Well, I’ll go on for now – appreciate hearing from you, stay cool & comfortable. Gotta shower now, putting all those boxes together got me stickkkkkky. Love ya, Mom

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