We all need to help out if possible

Published 2:38 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
The world seems to jolt you in strange directions sometimes.
This has been discussed at length, but with the Red Cross using the back of our building until their Hurricane Ivan-damaged one can be repaired, the last few weeks have been pretty disheartening.
A steady trickle of Katrina evacuees came in throughout most of the past two weeks, all with stories more sad and horrifying than the one before them.
When an American Red Cross Emergency Rescue Vehicle (ERV) arrived in town over the weekend, the number of evacuees began to rise dramatically.
It's pretty difficult to walk in and out of all that sadness while attempting to go out and ask a coach about an upcoming football game. It really seems sort of pointless.
Evacuees have begun coming in such droves that the parking lot here at the Advance has had no space for the employees (certainly a small inconvenience, and don't think that I'm complaining about that).
The amount of devastation and human suffering this storm has caused continues to show itself more and more – not only in images from New Orleans and Mississippi but right here in Atmore.
Perhaps some day this week if you think life has dealt you a bad hand you should simply come by the office and see the people coming through the doors to the Red Cross one after the other. It's enough to make anyone feel fortunate.
It really becomes more and more surreal every day that there are over a million displaced persons meandering throughout the Southeast in an attempt to find something to bide the time until they are able to return home (which for some New Orleans residents may be as long as a year away). We've seen pictures of this sort of thing, we see those crooks on TV trying to get money from us to sponsor kids in these sorts of situation, but it's simply not supposed to happen in our country.
As I walked past at least 200 evacuees crowding our parking lot for food from the ERV while carrying the food I had just purchased at Church's, it really struck me. What am I doing? Why am I not doing more to help these people? Why am I not giving money to the Red Cross? Why am I not offering these people what little help I can afford? Why am I not in Mobile, Mississippi, or Louisiana helping people pick up the pieces? All of those are good questions, and I can't really find a good answer for any of them.
But I plan to change that. I will be donating to the Red Cross the first thing this morning. While the destruction and devastation can't be fixed by one person, if everyone helps just a little bit we can hasten the rebuilding projects.
I encourage everyone to find some way to get involved.
Tim Cottrell is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or by e-mail at sports@atmore advance.com

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