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The Hard Ask

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Bloggers across the country and the political and social spectrum are asking their readers to contrubte to Katrina relief efforts to day. Instapundit has a huge list of links. N.Z. Bear has a huge list of participating bloggers, and he’s also got tools for you to record your donation.

If you like this blog and trust my judgment, please send a check to a church in the heart of the city of New Orleans, Canal Street Prebyterian Church, which will be a great steward of such funds. I am leaving it up to the church’s session to figure out how best to use the money as they will know the community in which they live best. Here’s their address:

Canal Street Presbyterian Church
4302 Canal St.
New Orleans, LA 70119

I am waiting until Tuesday to mail my check so that the USPS will have a chance to get resumed mail service organized.

Please send a second check to the special fund set up at SoldiersAngels for the assistance of the families of military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan impacted by the disaster:

Soldier’s Angels Foundation
Operation Katrina Relief
1792 East Washington Blvd.
Pasadena, California 91104

The SoldiersAngels folks also have a PayPal button on their site if you want to give online.

If you have friends who aren’t internet users but who want to help and can use a phone, they can call 1-888-58CHILD and get money to Feed the Children which is dispatching huge amounts of basic necesssities into the region (and huge amounts are needed.)

I won’t be posting much today because I hope readers will take time to visit other relief bloggers via the links Glenn and Bear provide, but I do hope you will stop right now and right a check or two or three. If Brett Farve and Mark Steyn can both use their internet sites to raise money for the region, then you can rest assured the effort is broad-based indeed.

Speaking of Steyn, his Spectator piece on the draft Iraqi constitution is brilliant. Here’s one of many must-read paragraphs:

The Kurds drove a hard bargain and the Shia accepted it. The Sunnis did not. Sad, but not fatal. You wait around for unanimity, you wait for ever. The US framers said nine out of 13 states would be enough to proceed, and Rhode Island and North Carolina were still not on board at George Washington’s inauguration. Quebec, incidentally, has still not signed the Canadian constitution. The Americans want the Kurds and Shia to have one more go at schmoozing the Sunni, but the Kurds and Shia are less inclined, and who can blame them? Some of the Sunni representatives were Baathists negotiating in bad faith, and, of those who weren’t, two were murdered. Meanwhile, a lot of their constituents seem to be having difficulty coming to terms with the fact that they’re a minority. I don’t mean psychological difficulty, but that they literally don’t comprehend the arithmetic. They form about 15 per cent of the population, less than the Kurds (also Sunni) at 20 per cent, but, having been selected as Iraq’s managerial class by the British and maintained in their privilege not only by homegrown Sunni dictators like Saddam but also by the Sunni dictators’ club at the Arab League, it’s not clear how many of them grasp their numerical weakness.

Read the whole thing, even if you have to go through the registration process. But only after you have given to one of the relief agencies/efforts.

After you have given, ask the brass at your place of employment how the company might help with both a financial gift and in other ways. Austin Bay notes the University of Texas has opened its doors to displaced New Orleans undergrads. Erwin Chemerinsky noted yetserday that Duke and other of the nation’s law school are opening their classrooms to Tulane and Loyola law students. If you are the brass, send a memo around asking for suggestions on how your team can help.

If you are a church, please find one in the devastated area to partner with in the rebuilding effort. Ditto for hospitals, libraries, community choirs/playhouses, and maybe even restaurants.

MarkDRoberts (from whom I got the tip on Canal Street Presbyterian Church) has a post on “the brokenness of nature” which began in some posts he first published after the tsunami. It is excellent theology –and even confronts the fact of the looting– which cabins our practical response to the suffering.

But before you spend much time on the hard questions, do the easy stuff. Give and organize as you would hope folks would give and organize if your family, home, and community had been so devastated.

UPDATE: Here’s a blog posting info on college and university assistance to students displaced by the disaster. The blogosphere is truly amazing.


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