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Help for Alabama
cap, captain miss america
As you've probably noticed, one of my best friends in the whole world lives in Tuscaloosa. You can read about her experiences these past few days here. Now that she is in a safe place, I feel like it's time I should be helping out other folks in the area.

Here are some ways you can help.

CBS42 has a list of ways to donate water, non-perishable food items, clothing, etc., for people who are within driving distance.

AL.com has more ways for people who are in the region to help.

If you want to volunteer, call the United Way at 211.

alephz took the time to put together a list of ways to donate money. I'm c/ping that here.

You can donate to the Alabama Red Cross. Or even the regular Red Cross. There's also the Salvation Army and the Alabama Governer's Emergency Relief Fund

There is also a link to many ways you can help here:

Stuff to send to Alabama.

A couple things you should know: They are looking most for money, bottled water, and non-perishable food items, flashlights, batteries, hand sanitizer, as well as gift cards to stores like Wal-Mart, Lowes, and other big chain stores that are located in the area.

Anyone who sends me confirmation of a donation of $10 or more (you can send me a photo of a text confirmation if you do the text to the Red Cross or Salvation Army thing) will get a black and white drawing of a single figure (person, animal or thing). If you send $50 or more, I will draw 2-3 figures for you. You could have a usericon like my usericon, for only $10!

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How the heck did you do that signal-boosting thing? That's so cool!

So cool! Well, you should have an email from me any sec now...

This might be an inappropriate place for this discussion, in which case you're very welcome to delete this, but I've been wary of recommending the Salvation Army as a charity ever since I learned how anti-gay they are (here, for example).

I think this is a great thing you are doing and offering, though. <3

I'm aware of the Salvation Army issues, and I don't buy from their stores anymore, but in this case, they are one of the few groups who are mobilized on the ground locally and capable of getting stuff out to people. There are entire neighborhoods where there are no longer any buildings, which means many local charities have been pretty much decimated, but the local SA is still functioning, so it's not exactly a time to be choosy. If you want to re-post this and leave out the SA, I wouldn't be offended or anything.

Edited at 2011-04-30 09:01 pm (UTC)

Aha, okay, that makes sense. I didn't realize so few other charities were mobilized on the ground right now (although I guess it makes sense). You're right that sometimes we have to work with people we don't like or agree with.

Yeah, I scoured the internet for a while to get lists of charities that were helping and it's either RC or SA, the Governor's Fund, or very small regional ones that aren't all equipped to take donations from out of town. I think people hear a death toll in the hundreds and think that means it's not that bad, especially after what's happened in Japan, but it's still completely devastating to the people who live there. There are thousands of people with no homes right now. I figured it's better to include everyone is helping and let people make their individual choices.

Under normal circumstances, I don't shop SA either, but they are on the ground here--last I checked, they are in fact directly across the street from my house. I put a few spare toiletries from our house into their hands, and before I walked away, they'd put them into the hands of other people. Right now, that's the important thing. So please, don't fear the Army. They're gettin' things done.

Thank you so much for doing this. I live in Huntsville, AL. Some of my sister-in-law's relatives are missing and their home is destroyed. My friend, Robin's, house is crushed and my friend, Margaret's son lost his home.

There is so much destroyed and our whole county won't have power until at least Monday or Tuesday (we left due to needing power for my husband's CPAP.)

Thank you for caring for us Southerners at this time. I'm very touched.

I was thinking about you! I am so sorry to hear about your friends and family. I hope your sis-in-law's family is okay and just out of reach.

Let me know if there is anything I can do individually for your family <3

I'm really hoping for my sis-in-law's sake that it's a case of dead or missing cell phones. There is no way to charge phone in my county so hopefully that is all that happened.

I think we will be ok but thanks for the offer. The main thing I need are things like a way to make a new drs. appointment for the one I missed on Thursday but there is no way anyone can help with that until I can get through to my drs. office. All the doctors here have had to switch their phones over to a different answering system due to lack of power and I need to have the appointment before my surgery on May 9th.

Hopefully I will get through to him this week. But that is nothing you can help with.

I read about Quizzical's experience...there are no words. Time will likely help but nothing can replace those who were lost:(

Okay! Let me know if anything comes up. <3 <3 to your family.

Thanks for this. All my kin's from Alabama (they were very, very lucky, thank goodness) and hearing how it might be ten more days yet before they get power restored worries me greatly.

I'd like to encourage people to donate money because it's such an ordeal to deliver water and supplies to people out in rural areas, and Alabama has a huge rural population in need right now, too. (Tuscaloosa's been foremost on the news, and the destruction there is awful, but it's also been on the news because it's far easier for news crews to get to than little towns out in the country.) With donated money, charities are able to buy and deliver supplies targeted to immediate local needs faster than they can sort and pass around donated items. It's a more efficient use of time and money all around.

The exception is for businesses making large donations. For instance, if your business can donate a few thousand gallons of water, bulk lots of clothes or blankets, food, etc., please call a charity, find out if they're equipped to distribute them, and make arrangements.

Thanks. <3

Yes! And I noticed quite a lot of charities specifically asking for gift cards to stores that can supply cheap clothing and food or home repair supplies, if people are uncomfortable sending cash to a local charity they don't know.

Thank you, and all my best to your family.

how about a goldfish icon?

quizzicalsphinx sent me over...

Thank you for your order!

Order Information
Merchant: American Red Cross - Birmingham Area Chapter
Description: Online Donations Mid-Alabama Chapter
Invoice Number: 99_1960_711290
Billing Information
Christine K
[my address]
Roxbury, MA 02119
[my e-mail] Shipping Information
Item Description Qty Taxable Unit Price Item Total
#1 Donation Amount 1 N US $10.00 US $10.00
Total: US $10.00

American Express
Date/Time: 01-May-2011 09:37:41 AM CT
Transaction ID: [number]

Re: how about a goldfish icon?

Absolutely! Will do! Thank you!

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