UPDATES AND ADDED EVENTS
DC will be hosting many displaced families from the affected area, beginning this week. It's expected that many of them will be housed at the DC Armory. Let's stay committed to their care and well-being. If you want to help, DCist has the basics:
The D.C. government Web site says that those interested in helping should call the Mayor's Call Center (202-727-1000). Through that number, Serve DC will preregister those interested in volunteering their time and labor, and they are officially asking that concerned citizens stop bringing small amounts of items or any clothesto fire or police stations. Right now, they prefer to accept only donations of money or goods in bulk. You can also send your name, phone number, and e-mail address to the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area, or contact Jeffrey Daniels, the Manager of Emergency Services at danielsj at redcrossnca dot org or by phone at 202-303-4521.The CPMC report that the first District police station are stockpiling care packages for the incoming evacuees. If you'd like to donate goods, clothing, non-perishable food or drinking water, coordinate you efforts by calling the station at 202-698-0555.
Wednesday afternoon, Cafe Milano will be having a fundraiser, from 5:30-7:30pm. Minimum donation is $100. If you aren't able to give that much, consider joining Alabama State Society, the Louisiana State Society, the Mississippi State Society, and the Florida State Society as they raise money for the folks back home. It takes place at the Jones Day Building at 311 First Street, NW, from 6-9pm. There'll be food, drink, and music, for a $20 donation--and you may want to participate in a special raffle or the silent auction that are planned.
Also Wednesday, come on up to the Hawk and Dove for their fundraiser. $25 donation to the Red Cross gets you in the door, where beer and wings are free until the wings are gone.
Thursday night, Vida is sponsoring a benefit for the American Red Cross. The event begins at 6pm, and your $20 donation at the door, along with 15% of the night's drink sales, will go to the Red Cross.
Also Thursday, the folks at the Grog and Tankard will host "Singin' the Blues for the Delta." The show features Delaware's Lower Case Blues. The show starts at 8pm and the cover is $20 (to benefit the Red Cross).
Next Monday, the Museum of the American Cocktail, DC Style, and Southern Comfort's Tales of the Cocktail are encouraging area barkeeps to make flow with their own interpretations of the classic New Orleans cocktails between 5-7pm and donate their take to New Orleans food and beverage workers. Give your palate some new experiences while giving help and hope to the people who helped make New Orleans what it is.
Friday night is A Katrina Benefit, at American University.
Throughout the next month, the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, who own and operate Tallula, Vermillion and The Evening Star, will be pledging proceeds, soliciting donations, and offering special events to help out those affected by Katrina. "On September 7, a percentage of total sales from all three restaurants will go to the American Red Cross and Catholic Relief Services, while from September 5-11, 50 percent of all dessert sales will be donated."
We'll keep you updated as time goes on. If you have an event upcoming for Katrina relief, please feel free to drop us a line.
"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers" goes the line from that most famous drama of the Crescent City, and it couldn't resonate more fully than it does today. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has left us in an "all hands on deck" situation. There is a lot of work to be done, and locally, plans are already coming together.
In the first place, the Post has a long preliminary list of who you can contact to make donations. We've also heard of a couple benefits. Tomorrow, at MCCXXIII Lounge, DC Jazz Fest will be holding a happy hour fundraiser to benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Also tomorrow, Lounge 201 will be fundraising. We imagine that as we get into the weekend and next week, such benefits will proliferate. If you know of any fundraising activities, get in touch with me, get in touch with the editors at DCist--we'll disseminate the information.
Many people are understandably leery about handing money over to organizations, even the Red Cross. If you want to contribute tangible aid to the people in need in the Gulf States, and want to be absolutely sure they get the full measure of your aid, there's a simple thing you can do: contribute potable water. Clean water is an immediate need for the displaced all across the affected area and will continue to be a need for a long, long time, even as workers excavate the area over the next few months. Right now, if you can donate just $25 worth of clean, drinkable agua, you'll be helping to fill a critical need. I don't know if you can get the tax write-off for donating water, but, you know what? Don't do this for the tax write-off. Do it because this is your hour.
Of course, how are you going to get water, food, or other goods down to the affected area? Over the next few days, you can expect to hear about groups who are putting together trips down south. I got word today that the Capo from the CPMC is going down there to help out, and, according to the CPMC, there are "several groups trying to put crews together" that are right now "in the planning stages." I've beseeched him to keep me in the loop about details as they come out so that we can all contribute what we can to the convoy.
If you've got the wherewithal to make the journey yourself, please let me know. Also, contact your local churches and community centers, or reach out to the Craigslist community and find out if trips to the affected areas are being planned. If you can't drive all the way to Baton Rouge, there's no need to feel helpless--can you get to Richmond? Charlottesville? Baltimore? If you can get supplies that far, you can probably hook up with a posse from those areas and hand off needed contributions. Need help hooking up with out of town efforts? Drop me a line and I will do whatever I can to help you.
Above all, keep your ears to the ground. Share any efforts you hear about with as many people as possible. Tell me about them. Tell DCist about them. Get the word out. We'll keep updating this page with whatever local efforts we hear about.