Real People Hurricane Relief

Real People Relief is for individuals, families and groups who wish to help a person or family directly, with no "middle man" "Be The Change" Ghandi "I pray that I may not be tempted, by indifference or selfishness to withhold from others the help I have received." Author Unknown to me

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Richard and Barb

Organization Directly Assisting

Barb and Richard
E-mail -
Location - Waveland, MS
Number in household2 – Richard, 78; Barb, 72
SituationRichard built their house after Camille, using scraps and debris that Camille left. This house was flooded and destroyed by Katrina, leaving them with nothing. Richard is now a cancer survivor and is on home oxygen, unable to assist in the rebuilding like he once would have.
Living Arrangements - FEMA trailer beside what was once their home.
Help Received - The Giving Circle, FEMA
Photos -
Needs Since their needs are out of the normal range of the blog (medications, oxygen, etc.) The Giving Circle is asking for monetary donations to be send to them for both a building fund and living fund. Giftcards to WalMart will be graciously accepted. They need another $20,000 to rebuild the home and ongoing funds to assist with daily living.

Please print the following donation card (mark it For Richard and Barb) and send with your donation:
Send to:
The Giving Circle, Inc.
P.O. Box 3162
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Barbara and Richard Bourgeois, the first family selected by The Giving Circle to receive assistance through Pave the Wave, will soon have a new home!Through your generous donations to the Pave the Wave campaign, we were able to prepare Richard and Barbara's land for building and will now be able to help with a generous portion of the cost for materials needed for their new home. The Bourgeois have been issued a grant through Mississippi Home Help that, along with your donations to Pave the Wave, will cover the cost of their new home. A team led by an Amish group that is stationed in Waveland is offering free labor.
Thanks to all of you who have pledged your support by making donations or purchasing a commemorative brick, cornerstone or paving stone that will live on in downtown Waveland as a monument to your compassion. A large stretch of the sidewalk has been mapped out for the bricks and there is plenty of room for more! Progress is occurring in Waveland, but it is slow and help is still needed.
Contributions to Pave the Wave are directed towards home building in Waveland. If you would like to make a donation or order a brick on-line, please visit A Happy, Healthy New Year to all!!


11/14/2006 Students take off their hats for charity
Ron Maenza of The Giving Circle couldn't have been more thrilled Monday when a group of middle school students handed him a check for $3,100. Two dozen students were on hand for the presentation of the money, which will go toward rebuilding Katrina-ravaged Waveland, Miss., where 95 percent of the homes were destroyed last year.
The city of Saratoga Springs, along with local charity organization, The Giving Circle, has adopted the southern city and committed to helping its citizens rebuild.
'It was so uplifting,' Maenza said of Monday's event. 'It was so wonderful to see the involvement of the children; it took your breath away.'
Maenza, president of The Giving Circle, said most of the students' donations will go into a rebuilding fund for a particular family -- Richard and Barbara Bourgeois.
Though many applied for The Giving Circle's assistance, Mr. Bourgeois' story captivated Maenza.'He is nearing the end of his life,' he said. 'He's in a FEMA trailer, and he doesn't want to die there.'
'I told the children how important it was to give to those in Waveland,' Maenza said. 'It enriches you as a person. ... It's part of their learning process.'
The check was the culmination of funds from monthly 'Hats On' days at Maple Avenue Middle School in which students paid $1 to wear hats during school. Because students are not normally allowed to wear hats in school, the 'Hats On' days proved very successful.
'We tried to come up with something that kids could get into,' Principal Stuart Byrne said.
When school started last year, Hurricane Katrina had just hit the Gulf Coast. For Byrne, it was reminiscent of 1992, when Hurricane William hit Florida. He recalled the students gathering supplies in the then-new school and sending them south in a tractor trailer truck.
'I had a flashback,' Byrne said, adding he wanted to do something again.
Though school administrators initially thought they would give the money raised to a national organization like the Red Cross, providing funds for the local initiative The Giving Circle helped personalize the fundraising.
'I think that made a world of difference,' Byrne said. 'Being able to work with a local group that's already identified a community in need down there -- it just made it more personal.'
Maenza couldn't say enough about the generosity of the youths. 'It's nice to see your future is in good hands,' he said.
Maenza said he wants people to realize that even more than a year later, the devastation is still widespread.
'It's going to take generations before it's back to what it was,' he said. 'Each of us has to do a little bit.'
For more information or to make a donation to The Giving Circle, visit the Web site

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