I found the following post at Rick Lippincott's site. It caught my attention because I'm quite familiar with AFRH's in DC and Gulfport. There are many worthy causes to contribute to in the wake of the Katrina disaster, and I'm just throwing this one out there because I think it's a good one...
The Armed Forces Retirement Home facility in Gulfport, MS has suffered severe damage from Hurricane Katrina.
The AFRH is the facility that cares for veterans (both men and women) in their declining years. The Gulfport facility was built in the early 1980s, originally as the US Naval Home before the military retirement home systems consolidated a few years back.
As a result of the damage to the Gulfport facility, the AFRH has to relocate over 400 aged veterans to the other AFRH facility in Washington DC. As I write this, they're on buses heading north.
According to this story (originally from the Washington Post), quote:
Timothy C. Cox, chief operating officer in charge of both homes, said 10 feet of water surged into the ground floor of the Gulfport home, ruining the kitchen, dining room, bowling alley and long-term care facility and submerging the emergency generator. The hurricane also blew down the home's water tower...
Scores of people volunteered to help prepare for the newcomers, Cox said. Sheila Abarr, a spokeswoman for the home, said others interested in volunteering can call 202-730-3410. Donations of such toiletries as soap and shampoo also will be accepted, she said. Donations can be made by calling 800-422-9988.
He said the homes, which are operated jointly, did not have money in the budget to pay for housing the Gulfport residents in Washington but did have money in a trust fund. The homes are operated with funds from a $119 million trust fund and together have a $58 million annual budget.
The AFRH will accept donations to the trust fund, or the donations of the toiletries and such.
Donations may be sent to:
13053700 N. Capitol St. NW
Washington, DC 20011-8400
You can call for further information at: (800) 332-3527.
There are many organizations working to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and donations to any one of them will do good. But a donation of relatively small, simple items will go directly into the hands of an elderly vet.
My grandfather spent the last dozen or so years of his life in Gulfport, and it literally was his home. The residents there all view the quarters as their home, and they've been taken from it just as traumatically as the thousands of civilians who have also lost their homes. These old vets have nowhere else to go. Some of them don't have families, either.
These men and women fought for our freedom. The least we can do is send down a few cans of shaving cream and a couple of bottles of shampoo.
And while you're at it, consider throwing in a short note that says "Thanks for serving."