Friday, September 02, 2005

Volunteering at the Astrodome.

I know. I know. I said I wouldn't blog again until next week, but I had to blog this. I went to the Astrodome this morning to volunteer. I had called the Red Cross yesterday morning and they said they would only take trained Red Cross volunteers, so I donated money. Then I saw on the news that the Red Cross had changed it's mind and would take anyone who showed up.

So I showed up.

Now, I have volunteered in the past for both private and governmental agencies and there is NO doubt that private agencies do everything 100% better. Suffice to say that the volunteer coordination was completely unorganized, but fortunately everyone volunteering (like myself) were self motivators. You don't have to tell us what to do, we just do it. Which is what you had to do there because no one was in charge of the effort. I'm not blaming anyone. God knows the Red Cross has enough to deal with and we volunteers are grownups and can figure out what the needs are pretty quickly.

The whole thing was, of course, heartwrenching. People were packed cot to cot and with their supplies next to them. The really hard thing to see were the children. So small and with so little to keep them busy. The citizens and Churches of Houston came through in a BIG way and there was plenty of food, water, and clothes for everyone. The only thing I really had to dig for were toys. I plan to bring a bunch tomorrow. That seemed to be the only real need that wasn't being meet. There were also plenty of volunteers.

As you might imagine I wanted to hear what it was like being in the Superdome. One teenage girl told me that it was terrifying when the shooting started. "It was the gangs," she said. Her mother said, "The people found the guy who was shooting and beat his ass and his ass needed beating." I found over and over again that people were as disgusted with the behavior of the thugs as the rest of us. I asked them if they were angry at the government. Not one I spoke to said they were. They were angry at the people who behaved badly. They were angry at the thugs with guns. They were angry with the people who threw trash everywhere and went to bathroom in public places.

In other words, they were mad at the right people, unlike our friends on the left.

I was surprised at how good their attitudes were considering all they had been through. The ones I spoke to seem determined to get a job and settle here in Houston. Another wonderful thing to see were people holding signs saying that there were hiring workers. It's a start.

I was feeling irritated yesterday at the leftys commenting here trying to make political points at a desperate time. There were many Democratic leaders doing the same thing on TV. I HATE what the party of my childhood has become. I can only hope that the commenters here don't represent the majority of democrats in this country. I truly don't think they do. I think most Democrats realize the enormity of this tragedy and understand the mistakes that were made by the local, state, and federal government, but also know what an incredible job was done considering the scope of the tragedy. I think they are grateful that we, as a country, can give the enormous amount of money and resources that it will take to get New Orleans, the coast, and the people back on their feet again.

But the leadership in the Democratic party and the fringe left (Kos,, Michael Moore, NARAL ect..) have hijacked the voice of this party and turned it into a petty bitter ranting voice the likes of which I have never seen in politics. It is truly time for grassroots Democrats take back their party.

All this upset me yesterday. But today I feel so much better. One thing helping people in need does is put everything in perspective. When you see how much people can endure and still be strong, the petty voices just don't bother you anymore. When you see people who really have every reason to be angry, but are not, then it makes you understand that the highpitched voice on the left is nothing more than that. An empty voice.

This country is pouring it's heart out to the hurricane's victims. Tragedy tends to bring out the worst and the best of society.

Today I saw the best.