Over the past two weeks on television and in newspapers, we have seen one of the greatest tragedies in United States history unfold before our eyes. Indeed, the true cost of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina will not be known for many months or perhaps even years to come.
As news about Katrina’s aftermath saturates the media, it can be easy to grow tired of the seemingly endless coverage of this single event. Yet it is important to remember that these are real people, with real lives and dealing with real loss. Many of the people heavily impacted by the storm’s wrath are the same people who are often neglected most by the national spotlight ?”our nation’s poor and minority population?” further raising the necessity that the media insure that their stories be told and their suffering not be forgotten.
We are always called upon to assist our fellow human beings in times of great suffering, but in the case of Katrina, the profound failure of the authorities trusted with safeguarding those in the storm’s path unfortunately amplifies our responsibility to provide assistance to make up for where our leaders’ fell starkly short.
In contrast to the political finger pointing and images of chaos, an inspiring outpouring of compassion, support and action has come from all corners of the nation in Katrina’s wake. Even locally, individuals and organizations have shown tremendous resolve in helping those in need. In particular we would like to commend the Portland State administration for their participation in efforts for disaster relief.
This tragedy highlights many issues facing our modern society such as race, class, dependence on oil and global warming. We will continue to follow this historic event and analyze its impact on our community in Portland and at PSU as the story unfolds.
If you are interested in helping those impacted by Hurricane Katrina, there are many ways you can contribute to relief efforts, even if you are unable to make monetary donations. Many organizations are in need of volunteers and material donations such as food and clothing. Below is a list of several reputable organizations that are in need of support.
American Red Cross
Donate money, goods, blood or volunteer
Provides emergency relief services throughout the world, including the gulf coast
America’s Second Harvest
Donate food to the nation’s largest food bank network
Northwest Medical Teams
Providing medical relief and services to Katrina’s victims
Salvation Army Disaster Relief Hotline
Accepting clothing, blankets and food for hurricane survivors
Oregon Humane Society
Contributing to the animal rescue efforts in the south