Here's a nice story for Thanksgiving, courtesy of New York's WCBS-TV:
AMITYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Hurricane survivors from hundreds of miles away have arrived on Long Island with a massive care package to help the Sandy relief effort.
Two truckloads of supplies and food arrived at Amityville High School from New Orleans, thanks to a couple of Katrina survivors who wanted to help out.
The tractor-trailers are filled with diapers, clothes, food and any other supplies New Orleans residents thought could be useful in the clean up and relief effort.
“It was amazing to see how many people responded to our cry for help down there to send up here,” Louisiana resident Trey Ledbetter told WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall.
That almost-new suit you haven’t worn in a year, the pants you never got hemmed — get rid of them and feel good about it by donating them to Dress for Success during the 10th annual Send One Suit Weekend through Sunday, March 4. Drop off clothing donations at any Dressbarn women’s store (the closest locations are listed below the jump).
The nonprofit Dress for Success focuses on helping disadvantaged women who are trying to gain financial independence. The organization collects and distributes donated professional apparel needed for job interviews and beginning a new job. Items needed include suits, blouses, skirts, pants, shoes and accessories. Dress for Success partners with national retailer Dressbarn for Send One Suit Weekend. Dressbarn's stated goal for 2012 is to collect 60,000 items at its 825 stores, 9,000 more than the 51,000 the public donated during last year's drive.
A corps of volunteers from Capital One Bank will help Louisiana State University AgCenter workers remove shrubs and foliage Tuesday in the yard of the New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History (1418 Gov. Nicholls St., 566-1136; noaam.org) and replant a heritage garden with plants that would have graced the grounds when the Meilleur-Goldthwaite House (where the museum is located) was constructed in the late 1820s.
The LSU AgCenter and Tulane School of Architecture Preservation Program designed a landscaping plan for the yard based on trees and plants common in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans in the early 19th century. The volunteers will sow heirloom plants in the beds surrounding the museum during the workday, which lasts from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Meilleur-Goldthwaite House originally was built as a residence in 1828-29. The museum will use the heritage garden to foster its goal of teaching people about the history and culture of African-Americans in New Orleans in order to protect and preserve that heritage. Installing heirloom plants is part of a larger renovation of the Creole villa, which has retained many of its original decorative details.
Capital One volunteers are helping restore the garden as part of the bank’s annual One Week initiative in which more than 658 company employees are expected to spend more than 3,000 total hours volunteering with 33 nonprofits across the state between now and Saturday. Projects include working with food banks in the New Orleans, Acadiana, central Louisiana, Baton Rouge and Covington areas; assisting Friends of City Park with clerical and horticultural duties; repairing homes in Gentilly with the St. Bernard Project; and volunteering with other projects in Houma, Oakdale, Kinder, Baton Rouge and Monroe.
According to plan, considering Tropical Storm Bonnie gets uncomfortably close. From Unified Incident Command:
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Buras, LA, which is providing medical care to oiled wildlife, will relocate to a larger facility in Hammond, LA early Friday morning. The transport will occur overnight in order to minimize stress on the animals.
The current Fort Jackson Bird Rehabilitation Facility is located in a hurricane evacuation zone and subject to damage from tropical storms and hurricanes. Moving the facility to the Hammond site eliminates the risk of evacuation in the event of a storm and reduces stress and potential loss of life of the birds.
Initially, the Hammond Bird Rehabilitation Facility will be capable of handling approximately 1,000 birds. Capacity could increase to as many as 2,000 to 3,000 birds.
Tom Buckley with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says he doesn't anticipate any problems relocating that far from the docks.
"It's obviously a little bit further away," he says. "Right now it's in the No. 1 top hurricane evacuation zone, so moving it to Hammond will get it out of that evacuation area, and it'll be a stable, more secure facility."
The new facility will have climate-controlled housing, more space for a larger volume of birds, and "state-of-the-art equipment," Buckley says, "rather than the rubber buckets and the other things (wildlife handlers) have been forced to use but which they've used excellently. But this'll be better and more efficient for them, and I'm sure for the birds, too."
Pickup sites in Plaquemines Parish, like the one at the marina in Port Sulphur, will remain in use. "Plaquemines Parish will continue to be an important location for receiving, stabilizing, and transporting animals from impacted areas," the Unified Command release said. Wildlife branch director Rhonda Murgatroyd said the branch "is grateful to Plaquemines Parish officials and residents for their assistance, and we appreciate their continued support as we move."
But that distance could mean rescued birds may sit in oil for several hours before getting cleaned. To Port Sulphur, VOO carrying oiled birds navigate a network of bayous and inlets bleeding into the Gulf a trip that already takes more than an hour.
On July 7, Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser said moving the facility is "unthinkable." He doesn't understand why it's moving, and why there won't be any cleaning operations near the parish. "If they would embrace more volunteers and people from all over the country to help, a greater volume of these birds would be cleaned at a faster rate," Nungesser said.
As fishermen, oystermen and shrimpers bite the bullet, so do the restaurants depending on them and so do their families who can't live without them. Organizations like Second Harvest Food Bank are there to help. Second Harvest estimates 47,656 households may need assistance as a result of the BP oil disaster, and last month the organizations distributed hundreds of emergency food boxes throughout St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.
But family pets also need help. Today, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) delivered 12 tons of dog and cat food to Belle Chasse at the Plaquemines Parish Department of Health and Animal Control to be distributed to coastal residents. According to HSUS Louisiana director Julia Breaux, the Plaquemines Parish Animal Welfare Society has seen an increase in relinquishment of pets since the disaster began some pet owners can longer afford to care for their pets. HSUS' delivery included 24 pallets of dog and cat food, or about 24,604 pounds of food.
A statement from HSUS included this quote from Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser: As we work to protect our marsh and wildlife during the oil spill disaster, we cant forget our pets. Plaquemines Parish residents are known for being pet lovers. We dont want people who are directly affected by this tragedy to have to choose between feeding their pets or feeding themselves. We want to thank the Humane Society for their thoughtful donation during this difficult time.
For those that are looking to help with relief efforts, Second Harvest needs donations of nonperishable food items (which can be dropped off at its warehouse at 700 Edwards Ave. in Elmwood). The group also seeks volunteers (call 729-2849 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information) and donations for $1, the group can feed a family of four (call 734-1322 or visit the website to donate).
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