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  • FundraisingKatrinaNew OrleansNOLAWhen The Levees Broke

New Orleans Today

Dead Wood Alive, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

I was walking in Stanley Park yesterday, and saw this tree: even though it was large and beautiful, the strong winds this winter tipped it over and completely uprooted it. It lays on the grass, with its roots exposed and vulnerable. To judge from a quick glance only, this tree is definitely dead. It’s been there like this since the winter and all through the scorching heat of the summer. But if you look towards the sky, the tree’s true spirit is revealed – that of hope and strong life force. The tree is clearly alive, as new leaves are budding and shooting through the uppermost tips of the branches, facing the sky with dignity and resilience. If only someone will help this tree stand up and cover its roots again, I think this tree will live.

It’s two years after Katrina hit New Orleans, and the people of New Orleans are still working hard to re-build it, with very minimal help from the US government. Although the frequently toured areas of New Orleans (mostly in the French Quarter) have been renovated enough to attract more visitors and hold a seemingly normal façade for what you’d expect the city to look like. August 30th marks two years for the breaking of the levees - city’s efense mechanism against flood was too old and defective, and the levees collapsed, causing 80% of the city to go under water.

Two years later, there is still a lot more to repair and re-build, both physically and culturally - not to mention people’s life that have been shattered and scarred forever by this disaster and the traumas of losing their loved ones, their homes and being abandoned by their own government when they needed it most.

Only about 1/3 of the population of this vibrant city have returned to their homes. The rest have been scattered all across the US, far from their family, friends and hometown. For many, even if they want to come back, they don’t have the means. FEMA have helped them out of the city, but will not help to bring them back home. And of course I don’t need to remind you that the US government is one of the richest in the world, but apparently helping its own citizens is not at the top of the agenda. This is simply too contradictory for its capitalist idealism. And having all these people away from their home is perhaps one way to keep the area quiet and the oil rigs off the shores of Louisiana pump more oils and money into the government’s treasure box.

Click here to view the current situation in the various parts of the city and how

Read this AND read the comments all the way down at the bottom of the page, by New Orleans citizens to get an idea of what’s really going on there right now…

If there is anything we can do to support the people of New Orleans to re-build this fantastic city and their own life and future in it – we should do it now, before it’s too late. Moral support to individuals we know from there - to show we care, and if we can go visit there and help build and fix, clean and renovate the city. And of course, financial aid to individuals and organizations working hard to maintain this culture.

Below is a list of just a few charities that I think are worth supporting:

Mardi Gras Chief Bannock
(you can also send funds directly via PayPal to this recipient - or click on the donation button at the bottom of this page)

Emergency Relief Services of the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans

America’s Wetland

Network for Good

Family Pride Coalition

Teaching the Levees

  • FundraisingKatrinaNew OrleansNOLAWhen The Levees Broke
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