One of the teachers at our school, a rabbi, spoke to us as a school community about the importance of action after the horrible disaster in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He broke it down so beautifully and eloquently, that I don’t think one could help but take action after hearing him speak.
First of all, we are compelled to see it. We need to look at the pictures. We need to watch the news. As hard as it is, we have an obligation not to turn away.
Second, we need to feel it. We need to feel the compassion, the sadness, the devastation. We need to sympathize with our brothers and sisters who do not have what we do — homes, food, water, and in a great number of cases, shelter. Their jobs and schools are closed. Our loved ones are with us. Many of the survivors of this disaster lost family and friends. It is hard to let it sink in and feel such pain, but unless we do, we will not be compelled to act. And action is the only thing that will help.
Helen Keller once said, “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.” This tragedy seems big, and it is easy to tell yourself you’re too small to do something. If everyone gives some money, no matter the amount, it will be amazing, incredible — the things we can do. You can do something. As a fellow human being, you are obligated to do something. It is only through human action that life can be made better for those suffering.
My school is raising money to donate to the American Red Cross. We are donating clothing through a clothing drive. It will be taken to a shelter downtown, where some of the refugees are staying. If you would like to donate, there are a number of safe places who will take your donations and help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
- The Salvation Army
- The Red Cross
- America’s Second Harvest
- Operation Blessing
- The Humane Society of the United States
- Disaster Psychiatry Outreach
- More groups collection donations or needing volunteers can be found at FEMA’s website
If you would like to join your donation with those of our school, you can contact me via e-mail (change the (AT) to @) and I will put you in touch with the coordinators of our efforts.
Helen Keller also said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” In order for our brothers and sisters in New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama to overcome their suffering, they need our help, and it is our duty, our responsibility to our fellow man to help in whatever way we can.