On Jan. 12th we will be back on the Gulf Coast continuing our relief efforts. We are also updating the site and want to thank everybody for their support. We would also like to give a special shout out to everyone who participated in the fundraising event, “Benefit the Bayou”, organized by Cosmo Pfeil in NY last month. The event was a great success and we are grateful for everyone’s participation and generosity.

We have been working hard to raise proceeds as well as awarness in an effort to provide continued relief. In doing so, we are bothered by the consistent discrepancy beteween what we see on the ground and what is being reported by the media.. We cannot help but feel the need to give voice to this issue. We want to remind people, “Please do not be fooled by the Media!” Simply because the editors of major media outlets nationwide have determined that Hurricane Katrina is no longer “newsworthy”, the survivors throughout the Gulf Coast find themselves fighting an unnecessary and lonely battle. At the beginning of the relief effort, there were concerns about the how the survivors in Gulf Coast were being labeled as “victims”. Well. They are victims. Not of the hurricane, but victims of a blatantly corrupt and disorganized system . A system flawed by incompetent decision makers, failed policies and of course the politics (or what we have come to know as “Red Tape”) which consequently inflicts even more suffering on the “survivors”.

As if this burecratic stranglehold isn’t enough, survivors must also navigate through false promises and long lines for services that may never reach them. DAILY we hear the story of families who have waited patiently for services or assistance from large NGO’s (Non-Governmental Orgaizations) that fail to materialize. Too often, smaller grass-roots groups who are on the ground, and offering help, are having their financial resources bled dry by the NGO’s whom collect billions in donations. Not only do they NOT do what they claim, but are “reimbursed” by our own government. It’s mind-blowing. The fact of the matter is, in many cases, these “non-profit” organizations’ fundraising events vastly outrun their programs.

I was shocked when I returned home after three months to find that people have no real sense of how bad things truly are on the Gulf Coast. Further, the majority of people I spoke with thought things were actually back to normal!!! Things in the Gulf Coast are no where near back to normal. The politicians are still playing their games while the huge “non-profit” organizations have immersed themselves in donations, in the publicity, and showered themselves in the the millions of dollars in grants that were being offered and have now quietly phased themselves out of the picture… I am getting fed-up with people saying that we should stop pointing fingers, I cannot disagree more… We should point fingers when people’s lives and well-being are at stake. Especially, when we are trusting and relying on these very organizations and agencies to step up and do the right thing. How the hell is the public going to know who is for real and who is out to make a buck if we don’t ask questions? How will the public know what the REAL story is? Get involved in the truth and stop allowing these people to take advantage of those who can’t take care of themselves.

Not only will we continue our relief efforts but we will begin reporting more aggressively on the issues, problems and progress that is simply being ignored or overlooked by the media and the politicians…
Please check back with us soon.

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