Let me begin by saying that my heart breaks for the families and lives affected by Katrina and everything that has come since. I cannot even begin to imagine the nightmare you're living through now, and I know that there are entire families who have lost their lives this week...I grieve for you all. And yes, I have sent aid, thought I, myself, am unable to go and help. Please know that America supports you.
Now: What is happening in New Orleans right now is completely unacceptable. There are people stranded there who will probably die before they can be rescued because of the violence. People who have lost everything and are desperately seeking refuge are finding instead murder, rape, and rampant violence. Rescuers are being shot at instead of being appreciated or assisted. Men and women are shamelessly stealing everything that isn't nailed down...and no, I'm not worried about those who are stealing food to feed their families. These are the idiots stealing electronics and valuables. This is beyond shameful.
This behavior is why so many in the world call America the "evil empire"; it's this behavior that proves their point. This is when America should be gathering her strength and taking care of her people. This is when we should see the best of people, not their worst.
Of course, as I write this, I know that none of the people directly affected can see it...so if you're in a position to read this, you're also in a position to help them. Pray for the safety of the rescuers and the refugees. Pray that these people who've opted for anarchy and mayhem will come to their senses and stop hampering rescue efforts. Pray that those still stranded will be found before it's too late to help them. PRAY. If you can, GO. Go to the people and volunteer your time and energy. Look for survivors, look for ways to serve these survivors and the rescuers. Go and give of yourself in whatever way you can so you can show the refugees that life is worth living, and they will be able to find a way to go on when this is over. If you can't go, give. Give monitarily to the Red Cross. Seek out your local place of worship and see what they can suggest to getting aid to the people. Go to the Salvation Army and see what they can suggest. Go buy diapers, baby food, water, formula, toys for those children, clothing they can wear, clothing for the adults, baby wipes to clean bottoms and bodies; SOMEONE in your community will be able to tell you where and how to get things to them...or maybe, your local Salvation Army or homeless shelters can use these supplies and free up funds to send to relief efforts locally.
And yes, there is good happening. The refugees are being fed by volunteers, they're being taken to safety, and housing is being found as best as it can be. These people are worth fighting for, and they are being fought for.
The looters and rioters are trying to give this nation a black eye. If we will pour ourselves out for these who have lost everything, we can prove that this is a nation worth fighting for.
It's up to you. What are you going to do?