Help for Katrina Vicitms in Long Beach, MS

I just got off the phone with Anne Ladner (of Long Beach, MS) the fourth-grade teacher whose school was destroyed in Katrina. The situation is desperate, but there is some good news. Although most of the students and teachers are homeless, everyone has been accounted for. The school has set up trailers a few miles away from their original condemned location, but the teachers need supplies. Anne has been busy working her connections on the Internet. She’s a subscriber to my newsletter, so she wrote to me.

I wrote about her situation last week, and since then I have forwarded dozens of offers from schools who want to partner (be a sister school — what a great idea!), individual teachers with materials they are not using, and service organizations with a capacity to rally their members.

This story is personal. It’s about helping families, kids, and teachers one-on-one. I told Anne that this disaster is so huge it’s hard to get one’s mind around it. But the story of one teacher trying to help her students get back to a normal life, that’s easy to grasp.

Another concern Anne mentioned was that the momentum of help will dwindle. She’s already thinking about Christmas, and helping these kids and families through that season.

Our email communication has been a bit hampered by email filters (grrr!) so she’s not received everything I’ve sent. But today I am re-sending her yesterday’s batch of email. And she’s going to re-send photos of her school.