Minyan Mailbag--Helping those in need
A little effort will go a long way!
You know I would never ask for anything unless I needed it. You know I live in Venice, Florida, which is on Florida's Gulf Coast South of Tampa. While we were the target (between us and North to Tampa) for the Hurricane, the course changed at the last minute and it came inland just South of us. This last minute change caught everyone unprepared, and the results are complete destruction, total property loss, and death.
This disaster 20 miles to our south of Venice from Hurricane Charley has turned out far worse than initially anticipated. I personally visited the Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda areas on Sunday, and can tell you that the damage to the commercial properties is severe to total. While FPL is saying power is coming in a few weeks, my sources tell me the entire grid, and feeder main transmission lines, are gone. ALA Andrew, it will be months before power returns. There is no water, gas, telephone, and very poor cell service.
The Director of the Red Cross told me the difference between this and Andrew is that the People in Dade County lived in homes. Here they were for the most part in trailers, and the TV pundits had them so convinced they knew where this thing was going that many stayed in their trailers. When the Hurricane suddenly veered inland, it was too late to run. The result was like putting every trailer in a blender, turning it on high, and then dumping it all out back in the park. I talked my way past some guards...there were bodies drug out to the street by Search and Rescue, old people that never had a chance. These winds picked up a dump truck and carried it 150 feet and dropped it upside down. There is nothing left but debris; in one spot I found a piece of a gas pump from a 7-11 from 3 miles away.
We are now seeing hundreds of people coming to Venice searching for food and shelter, most of them with kids. There are tens of thousands of people who are hard working blue collar people, many with young families who have lost everything they own, who have no money, no clothes, no food for their kids. The Red Cross and Relief Agencies are giving their all, but are still overwhelmed. There are many areas that are not yet accessible or are totally destroyed, and waiting for teams of what now are recovery teams looking for bodies in debris fields. The roads are still so bad we can't get donations in fast enough.
Anything you guys can do to help us is greatly appreciated. There are people here who have nothing but the clothes on their back, and don't know where their next meal is coming from. I don't know what the Media is telling you up there, but there are 10's of thousands of people who desperately need help. PLEASE....Donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, send clothes, water, canned goods, baby food and supplies, anything....organize a drive in your town, don't believe what CNN or the talking heads tell you. This is full scale carnage, people in excess of 100,000 with no place to live, no food, no money, and the clothes on their back. And these were poor people to start with, living in rural areas.
We had a single mom show up at a collection center today with 3 kids who said they had not had anything to eat in 2 days, and bummed a ride to Venice. Thank God we got to those kids........Help us Todd, reach out to the Minyans!
For I have seen the belly of the beast.
Anything I can do to help, as always. Minyans can click here for more information on how to assist in the relief efforts.
May peace be with you,
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