Help those hurt by Hurricane Katrina.

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Almost 300,000 households uprooted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have filed change-of-address forms for mail delivery.
Top Destinations Households
Baton Rouge 38,220
Houston 29,252
Western New Orleans suburbs 19,767
Eastern Louisiana 18,517
Lafayette, La. 17,678
Miss. Gulf Coast 13,845
Dallas 11,703
Atlanta 10,687
Mobile, Ala. 9,643
Source: Analysis of U.S. Postal Service data by Paul Overberg
(see story "Katrina, Rita Victims Settle In Elsewhere" printed 31 Oct. 2005 in USA Today)

Help Victims Recover From Katrina

Hurricane Katrina did quite a number on New Orleans and nearby communities. Water as deep as 16 feet swamped vast portions of the city for several weeks. Months after the disaster, thousands have yet to return because there's little to return to and no place to stay.

Of the 1.34 million families that applied for FEMA assistance with expenses due to Katrina, almost 300,000 have changed their addresses to cities far from their homes. About 70,000 have relocated within a 2 hour drive of their former residences; however, the rest are hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Many of the Katrina evacuees have lost just about everything. In New Orleans alone, over 130,000 people lost their homes, jobs and/or their means of transportation. Many cannot afford to replace the cars that they lost to flooding nor do they have the credit to buy another car. Without transportation, the prospects of getting a steady job are dim.

With losses like these, a bike can be the bridge to a new future. Bikes are cheap to maintain and allow evacuees to save money otherwise spent on fuel for their car or auto insurance. Realizing the difference a bike can make, community organizations around the country are providing used bikes, bike parts and mechanics to Plan B, a non-profit organization in New Orleans dedicated to helping those in need.

If you want to make a difference in the lives of those hurt by Katrina, there are a variety of things you can do. The easiest is to donate that old bike you no longer ride (you know, the one gathering dust in your shed, garage or carport). That bike can be the bridge that gets an evacuee to work or school.

With victims now dispersed throughout the USA, chances are that hundreds are now in metro areas in your vicinity (see the NY Times map of the Katrina diaspora). Many that were displaced by the storm are poor, have limited connections in the communities where they ended up and thus are unlikely to be aware of community services where they can obtain a bike at a nominal charge or possibly for free (such as a local bike co-op, the Salvation Army, or Goodwill).

Following are some of the local community organizations currently accepting donor bikes for Katrina.

Free Ride
Morgantown, WV
Positive Spin

Besides donating an old bike, here are some other ideas how you can be a catalyst to help those affected by this disaster.
1. Contact a bike co-op, bike shop or local disaster relief office to help Katrina victims that have relocated to your area.
2. Launch a public awareness campaign to inform others in your area of the transportation needs of Katrina victims.
3. Launch a local campaign drive for donor bikes for Katrina victims.
4. Launch a local campaign drive for donations to buy bikes for Katrina victims.

Let's Help Together
If you know of any organizations that are working to provide basic, reliable transportation to Katrina victims (besides those listed here), tell me about their efforts so I can promote them here. If they're raising funds, I'd like to talk with them about donating a portion of proceeds from sales of bikes at to it. If they're looking to buy bikes for Katrina victims, I'll provide our bikes at a deep discount. Be part of the solution; contact me today.

Larry Lagarde


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