September 03, 2005
Looking for RVs

Scott Chaffin emails to say that he's got space available at his Brazos River campground for Katrina evacuees, but he needs some help in accomodating them:

Please consider donating, for long-term use, your idle RV or travel trailer. We are opening our park to our good neighbors from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama who have lost so much in Hurricane Katrina. We have RV hookups available for their use, but we don't have RVs. Your donation can make all the difference in the world to people who are looking for a place to call home for a few weeks or months as they sort through the aftermath. It's absolutlely crucial that we all work together to help out our friends and family. Please email ( or call (254-898-2825) if you're able and willing to help out. We can help make arrangements for getting your RV or fifth-wheel to our place. Buck loves to drive.

He's working with other folks elsewhere to put together a national effort of this kind. I think it's a great idea, one that ought to be cost-effective as well as fairly easy to accomplish. I don't own an RV, and I don't think I know anyone who does, but if you do, I urge you to contact him at the email address or phone number above and see if you can help.

Hope has more information about other local efforts to aide Katrina evacuees in Austin.

I haven't mentioned it before, but I hope you know that the Chronicle has a forum for Katrina discussions. There are threads on what to donate and where, and threads like this one devoted to locating family members. Via Nate, the Waco Tribune has a message board for help in finding and contacting evacuees. Eric Berger points to this Red Cross resource for finding people who are still missing. And via Rob Booth, a local nonprofit called Technology for All is working with officials to set up a data center so people at the Dome can let loved ones know that they're there.

Something I missed earlier - New Orleans is the headquarters of ACORN, one of the leading advocacy groups for poor and working families in America. Their office was destroyed by Katrina, according to Nathan Newman. If you've donated to the Red Cross and want to do more, consider putting a donation to ACORN on your list.

Finally, Chris Bell has called for a month-long suspension of the gas tax to counterbalance the recent spike in pump prices. I'm always a little leery of things like this, but if it's true as Comptroller Strayhorn says that Texas has a $1.2 billion surplus right now due to "higher oil and natural gas prices and sales taxes", and if it's true as Governor Perry says that "the federal government will be paying for 100 percent of costs incurred by Texas" for housing Katrina evacuees, then I think Bell's call makes sense. It would certainly help people and businesses who are already struggling with the current high price of gasoline to make it through the initial cost spikes. It's certainly worth a discussion.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 03, 2005 to Hurricane Katrina | TrackBack

I understand the Prez has 1200 acres he's not using right now...

Posted by: palolo lolo on September 4, 2005 9:57 PM

I offered our old RV for donation on a web site shortly after Katrina struck. I just received contact from a couple who lived in Bay St. Louis and are now evacuated to Beaumont TX. Tom and Debbie Lane. Tom is a Welder and the couple expressed an interest in going back to MI to help with the rebuilding process. They are very interested in having our RV. I'm just looking for some help in making this happen. I need to be able to donate the RV to a charitable organization who can then turn it over to the couple. I'm in Fort Collins CO. The RV is a 1984 Allegro, its got 20K on a new engine and the whole cab has been remolded. Its truly in great shape and should make a sound place to live for someone. Please give me any help/direction that you can.

Posted by: Kim Jones on September 14, 2005 12:57 PM