An official request finally went out at work, and, while I won't list my employer directly, a brief internet search of the four locations I will mention should make it pretty obvious. gotta pretend to be confidential & all that jazz....
The Seadrift site has initiated a gift card donation program for our colleagues in Freeport, Houston, and Texas City. For those impacted by the storm, we're being asked to purchase gift cards from major retailers (Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart). Those gift cards will be donated to designated reps in Seadrift and Houston, and distributed as appropriate by HR.
I suggested a program that will allow Seadrift employees to donate to our fellow colleagues, and not some random "United Way" dump box. I care about the whole community, please don't misunderstand. But all those "Average Jane & Joes" that live on the coast, if they're poor, "down on their luck", whatever the case, they're bowed up in a shelter somewhere's, with food, clothes, all the donated stuff they could need at this moment. Furthermore, FEMA is going to bend over sideways to help them, after the disaster that was Hurr Katrina. That's great. I don't want my money going to their pockets. I want it to be directly handed to one of my co-workers whose house was destroyed, and they're stuck in a company-sponsored camper-trailer, waiting on insurance, and praying they find a reputable contractor company to repair the damage done by the storm. So a program has been developed, and the donations will be collected Oct 3 and Oct 10.
If by any chance anybody out there in the big world reads this, and wants to help in this effort, contact me by gmail, listed in my profile. I'll find a way. Donation commitments have already come to me from our sister sites in LA (St. Charles, and Plaquemine). The LA sites know what it is to be stranded & without federal assistance - and they're contributing, despite the fact some of them have Hurr Gustav clean-up yet to be done.
So think about it, pray about it, and pitch in if you can.