Tuesday, October 04, 2005

thoughts on aid

I was talking to Zack last night about how things are going at the center where he's volunteering. The crowd of people is beginning to change. Over the past two weeks he's met some amazing people with amazing stories. Families broken up with houses ruined, people in serious need of money to help them rebuild their lives. These folks have been so kind to him and are truly appreciative of the aid they are receiving (however insufficient it may seem).

It seems though that now the word is out that people in these counties can receive free money. The attitude is changing. People are more demanding and condescending there because they feel they are entitled to this free money. I don't understand how someone with a home intact, a steady income and a family united can stand next to someone who has lost so much and actually feel okay about taking handouts from charitable organizations. Do they actually think that they fall into the same class as those who were directly affected by the hurricane? Do they think there is an unlimited supply of money to be given out from the Red Cross? I hope these people realize what they're taking, who they are affecting, and how their attitudes are influencing the people around them.

I am especially worried for those in poor rural communities in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. How are people supposed to rebuild without a local economy? There are so many people out there who were scraping to get by before and now that their internal commerce has been wiped out, they really have no hope of rebuilding on their own. I hope that organizations like Habitat for Humanity will find these little towns and help these sweet southerners. They have taken such good care of my boyfriend and all the other volunteers down there. Their hearts are big, their spirituality fierce, and their communities strong. I pray that God is watching out for them, that the government realizes the need for aid, and that other volunteers give their gracious time and energy there to help these small rural communities get back on their feet.

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