Okay, I have such a swamp of links that I'm going to spam you with a few separate entries by topic. This one is charity and aid.
Most people I'm talking to are overwhelmed with frustration that they can't do anything--not just donate, but physically go down to New Orleans and do anything. Let's face it, though--even if you and I drove down there, they wouldn't let us in. And even if we got in, we would (well, I know I would) not be much help. If you're trained in medical or rescue aid, that's one thing; but most of us aren't, and would only get sick, injured, and/or in the way. Now, when the city is finally drained and Habitat for Humanity goes down there to rebuild--yeah, that's when you can go down and help. But right now, the most helpful thing you can do is 1) donate money and 2) keep yourself informed in terms of all sides of the story. (You'll see what I mean in the next entry.) We're just going to have to be keyboard warriors for now.
anatsuno, bringer of many links this weekend:
People can now also donate time online to help gather and consolidate missing persons / found persons messages from all over the place.fandom_charity is listing fan writers' and artists' offers and requests--people who will donate in return for a certain fic, or writers who will write a certain pairing in return for a donation, and so on.
A different kind of help you can donate to.
Some people are writing about NOLA reconstruction.
I've lost the name of the poster who brought me this, but it's another good Red Cross donation option: "Barry and the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope have both agreed: You donate $1.00… Barry will match your $1.00… and the Manilow Fund will match another $1.00…. so your one dollar becomes $3.00."
keever: "An alternative for non-monetary Red Cross donations: airline frequent flier miles, which they use to get relief workers to disaster sites."
anne_jumps: "Famous World O' Crap commenter Anntichrist S. Coulter (not her real name) is personally taking goods to shelters in the area using the donations she receives via Paypal, etc."
JournalFen: Something Awful raises $20,000 for the Red Cross; PayPal takes it away.
I think this got buried under a cut in a previous entry, but if you've been curious to try Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab oils, this season's Limited Edition blends will benefit the Red Cross and Katrina victims. Unfortunately you can't get samples of LEs, so it is $16 for a 5 ml bottle (and since this is very concentrated oil, that's a lot, trust me). The Lab's blends are often very complex and will change on your skin while you wear them; while they will differ on each person due to body chemistry, when they say "crackling leaves," that is actually what you will smell. (I have a decant of Samhain 2004, and yes, it's exactly as advertised.) Sometimes almost bizarrely true to life, BPAL oils are an experience in themselves.
ALL SAINT'S 2005
Revisited! Based on a venerable French pontifical incense blend: monastic frankincense and myrrh, Damascus rose, Russian gardenia, cassia, and lily of the valley wafting on a chill Autumn wind. A celebration of the glory and suffering of the saints and matryrs of the Church.
This is the scent of autumn night, fires in the distance, with a touch of boozy swoon, playful sugar and thuggish musk.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS 2005
Revisited! This is a Mexican paean to La Huesuda: dry, crackling leaves, the incense smoke of altars honoring Death and the Dead, funeral bouquets, the candies, chocolates, foods and tobacco of the ofrenda, amaranth, sweet cactus blossom and desert cereus.
Revisited! Truly the scent of autumn itself -- damp woods, fir needle, and black patchouli with the gentlest touches of warm pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, allspice, sweet red apple and mullein.
SUGAR SKULL 2005
Revisited! A blend of five sugars, lightly dusted with candied fruits.
TRICK OR TREAT
The sticky sweet scent of candy corn!
THE PUMPKIN PATCH
For your demonic lantern-carving pleasure, we present five delightfully strange pumpkin variants:
Pumpkin with apple cider and mulling spice.
Pumpkin with cocoa, hazelnut and walnut.
Pumpkin and pomegranate.
Pumpkin with sandalwood and orris.
Pumpkin with five woods, English ivy and galangal root.
Sold only in the Pumpkin Patch set, available until November 15th, 2005.
Hey Cleo. I live in West Virginia, and a whole bunch of the stereotypes are true--many people have bad grammar, bad mullets, bad teeth--but here's a great one: West Virginians are kindly, welcoming people with big hearts who just want to help. Our governor, Joe Manchin, just issued an open invitation to NOLA refugees to come stay here. They're being flown up on military transports and housed in a base, where they'll go through a sort of triage and get plenty of food, water, clothes, and hot showers. They first wave of people is coming now--about 80. Our local news says they expect maybe 500, all told. That's not many of the thousands and thousands displaced--but it was enough to make me cry (I'm a big baby). As far as I've heard, Manchin's the first governor of a state not immediately in the area to open it up like this. I hope more follow.
I got most of this from my local news; I couldn't really find an online news resource. I did manage to find Manchin's statement, though.
My favorite part? Manchin described WV as a big family. Even though I badmouth you all day long for having no cities and no culture, I love you, West Virginia.
West Virginia is, by the way, one of the only safe places in this country to live.