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Lust For Life!

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plea for help on behalf of all Gulf Coast and New Orleans residents [Sep. 1st, 2005|04:59 pm]
Lust For Life!


I drafted this yesterday on my way out of the storm affected areas. PLEASE forward this to anyone, everyone you can think of. Friends, family, individuals, corporations, national and internation news media. Also, if you feel so inclined, feel free to print out copies of this and hand them out to friends and family or even post them up in your hometown.

Additionally, I'd like to ask you to contact your congresspeople and state representatives immediately and tell them to get more national guard and law enforcement officials down there ASAP. The stories I'm hearing from friends and friends of friends who are stuck in New Orleans and even in Baton Rouge are horrifying, it's turning into complete anarchy.

I am writing to plea on behalf of all residents of the Gulf Coast region, from Louisiana to Florida. I am one of the lucky ones – I braved the storm and got out to be able to tell about it. I grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi but have lived and worked primarily in New Orleans for the last four years. Some friends and I evacuated that city late Saturday night to stay in Gulfport where we felt safer from the storm surge and flooding. Eight of us rode it out in my mother’s home, listening to and feeling the roaring winds and rains for almost 12 hours. Our back porch roof was ripped off completely, and the roof over our kitchen was punctured, leaving the kitchen in shambles from the effects of wind and rain. We count ourselves lucky, the house is still livable and everyone who stayed there is safe. My mother’s business and entire source of income, however, is completely destroyed. All of my friends from New Orleans have given up hope of salvaging their homes and possessions. Several friends, including my boyfriend’s father, are still stranded in New Orleans. My boyfriend and I were able to make it out of Gulfport to the nearest open airport, which was Baton Rouge, to fly north to help his company relocate and continue to do business. He is one of the lucky ones – he still has a job. When we left my mother’s house there was absolutely no communication in or out of the area, and we barely knew the status of Biloxi, the next city over, let alone much information about New Orleans.

I implore you, I plead with you, and I beg you, HELP US. Millions of people are homeless, without the basic necessities of life, or worse yet, hurt or dead. Many of these jobs and homes will be irreplaceable. The majority of these people have no way right now to ask you for help themselves. I’m sure they won’t mind me requesting assistance on their behalf. Last year I felt the effects of the tsunami in Southeast Asia from the other side of the world. Myself and many of my friends donated what we could to help with the relief efforts there. All we can do right now is hope that the people of the world will be as generous towards us as we tried to be for those who suffered through that tragedy. I am begging you, do what you can and put yourself in our shoes. Please know, I have seen friends and neighbors banding together to help each other make it through this experience. I will be the first to condemn those who are seen looting useless personal property, but please understand that those who have been left behind are forced to do what they must to survive at this point. They cannot do much without outside help. This is what we need from all of you so urgently at this time. Please don’t let us down – we can’t make it without you.

Mallory Whitfield
August 31, 2005