I haven't heard from my friends who live in New Orleans yet. I'm pretty sure they were able to evacuate in plenty of time but there was certainly a limit to how much they could take with them and they probably don't know yet and won't know for a while how badly their house suffered and just how much they've lost. My friends aren't poor and they have loving extended families so they are probably fine for now and will most likely be ok in the long run. But they have two little girls and that got me thinking.
My friends are probably far removed from New Orleans, dry and safe, and their daughters might feel as though they are on a vacation. I'm sure their relatives are making sure they don't miss any of their favorite toys and books they had to leave behind. But I saw lots of children in the pictures and video of the flooding and ruin yesterday, children whose families probably lost everything. Those kids are going to need new clothes, food, clean water, but also toys and games and books. We have all of those things to send but I don't know where to send them or when. Has anyone heard of a charity working on care packages for the people who were in Katrina's path?
Meanwhile the best thing to do is to send money to the rescue and aid operations that are already at work down there. Probably you've found the link other places. But here's the donation page for the Red Cross.