Thursday, September 01, 2005

Letter published today in the Palo Alto Weekly:

Dear Peninsula Residents,

I am a relatively new import to the Bay Area via New Orleans. I work for Stanford Management Company here in Menlo Park. The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina has been very upsetting for all of us. Personally, I have family and friends who are coping with the disaster first hand, and to many of them I am their only link to the outside world, as their communication lines to each other have disintegrated. In the same manner, I am the lone contact to New Orleans, a place I love dearly, for many people I work with and have gotten to know in the Bay Area. This is why I have taken on the responsibility of making people more aware of the crisis and encouraging people all over the country to support the relief efforts in creative ways.

While the easiest and fastest way to provide help is to donate to national agencies whose relief efforts are already in place, many people I have spoken with are interested in helping in more direct and focused ways. I would like to encourage the communities on the Peninsula to begin fundraising campaigns for specific communities in the hardest hit areas of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. An “adopt-a-community” program would facilitate local efforts to rebuild schools, homes and infrastructure in individual areas left destroyed by this catastrophe. Furthermore, I would like to work with you and those affected communities to develop means of following the progress of these communities and their residents on a close, personal and regular basis. I anticipate working with local officials throughout the Peninsula to coordinate and enhance this program, which is still in a conception stage.

To get a personal glimpse into the crisis in New Orleans and the recovery assistance effort I am undertaking, please access my weblog at http://helpneworleansnow.blogspot.com/. Since I just entered the world of weblogging this week due to this disaster, I can attest that it is simple and easy to use. Feel free to contact me via email with ideas you may have, or add your thoughts to the blog itself. We are all in this together. Thank you for your time.


Keith Schneider
keith.schneider@stanford.edu

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