Daniel — Helping New Orleans

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My friends from New Orleans are working hard to get donations and volunteers going toward more grassroots, community based organizations rather than FEMA (who channels their funds to Pat Robertson’s org among others) or the big NGO’s who may not actually take into account what the communities themselves want or need. Please forward this list around because it’s harder to get the word out about smaller organizations doing good work.
Hope you are well.
Best, Dara
Here are some great resources for giving money or volunteering in the relief and recovery efforts:
The Sparkplug Foundation has a great list of funding and volunteering options with organizations that doing grassroots relief work that focuses on people of color and poor people, especially groups that are run by, or accountable to people of color and economically devastated communities:
Tides Foundation has a Rapid Response Disaster Relief Fund that specializes in relief projects that serve those most in need and most forgotten or disenfranchised from traditional relief organizations:
The League of Pissed Off Voters has a New Orleans Fund, of which 100% of the money donated goes to their work of building a team of media, organizing and advocacy-savvy Nawleans refugees who are ready to write op-eds, fight, advocate, support their displaced neighbors during this crisis, and work for New Orleans to be restored in a way that includes the input of ordinary people!
MoveOn has a site where you can offer space for refugees to stay:
http://www.hurricanehousing.org /
New Orleans Network : In about 24-36 hours, the website that I’m working on with Shana Sassoon and a whole team of volunteer techies will be functional as a way for people to connect with and support the New Orleans refugees in their area, It will also be a way for New Orleans refugees to find each other in their exile communities and organize to take back their city and make sure that it is rebuilt in ways that serve ALL New Orleans residents. There will be exile community bulletin boards, discussion boards, resource listings, advocacy how-to sheets, events calendars, etc.
Finally, as the Neighborhood Story Project , Abram and Rachel will spend the next 4 months working with refugee high school students to document the stories of people living in the Astrodome. They are in the process of reprinting the original Neighborhood Story Project Books at a printshop in Houson. The original books, each written by a highschool student about their neighborhood in New Orleans, were the best-selling books in New Orleans over the summer, behind Harry Potter 6. All remaining copies were destroyed in the flooding.
Anyone who wants to help get their local independent bookstore to take a box of these incredible books to sell as a way to raise money for relief and recovery, and as a way to get out the amazing stories of the people and neighborhoods of New Orleans, please contact me at jamieschweser@yahoo.com
Abram and Rachel will need to raise thousands of dollars to reprint the books and get them shipped out to bookstores. Information about how to help will come soon, when they can get some sort of bank accounts and 501c3 organization in Houston – after the holiday weekend.
Thanks for all that you are all doing, and for all of the kind words and well wishes.
It feels great to know that so many people are willing to do so much to help our friends, family, brothers and sisters who have been so terribly affected by this disaster of nature and all of the catastrophes of racism and classism that have made it worse.