First of all let me say before I start to rant that I love my state. Louisiana is as varied a place as you can go. We have such cultural diversity and a wealth of history that rivals my number one favorite state of Texas. The food, the music, the joy for life is apparent to all who live here. The people are generous, they work and play with equal vigor. My only association with Iowa is thru my sister who lives in Riverdale outside of Davenport and with my son's 'people'. Joshua's father is an Iowan as is most of his relatives. Many years ago I met these people and appreciated the down to earth practicality and work ethic that they represented. My sister Patti is with the Red Cross in fund development and I am as proud of her as I can be. The Red Cross has been tireless helping those along the Mississippi while the waters have ruined homes, farms, and businesses. She has kept me informed of the more personal side so that I can understand the turmoil. My son has cousins in Parkersburg, Iowa which if you will recall was destroyed by a tornado, just prior to the flooding. Red Cross is still there helping. I am transfixed watching the news especially when they interview local people..it makes it more real to me and brings home the similarities and the differences between the two areas. Note that New Orleans was nearly destroyed by the levees breaking after Katrina... many levees have broken all along the Mississippi in Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. Homes were underwater in both places, people displaced after losing all they have, friends dying and jobs gone. The similarity ends there. I took care of evacuees from Katrina as they filtered thru my area in need of medical care on their way to other shelters or to homes. The complaints about what wasn't done to help the evacuees made the news for weeks with blame being placed up the chain to the President. Still today in the news you hear a pocket of people complaining that they haven't been given enough. I will be honest the largest complaints are from those who have by and large been taken care of by the government all their lives. I keep waiting to hear those same complaints from the people in Iowa. It may come later but for now they are too busy taking care of EACH OTHER, helping those who have nothing. They are neighbors taking care of neighbors. Apparently they don't know how to loot in Iowa.... maybe they need to get lessons on how to take advantage of a natural disaster to line your own pockets with illegally obtained goods. Don't get me wrong, during our disaster there were many people out in boats helping to rescue the stranded victims, doctors and nurses gave of themselves to help others, many opened their doors to evacuees, food was donated and money was given. Mistakes were made, some of them colossal as we watched the horror unfold in New Orleans. Today the devastation is still obvious in many areas. Many of our citizens have been scattered to other parts of the country. Louisianians gave of themselves to help our people but still there were those who wanted more and expected the government to continue to take care of them and did not feel that they had to work towards a goal of self sufficiency. We need to learn from the news. We need to watch those people up and down the Mississippi as they drag themselves forward and make a new life from the ruins of the old one.
Please contact your local Red Cross and give money to provide for those people who have lost everything. You can earmark your gifts for a specific purpose if you want.