Hurricane victims haven’t forgotten help
During this holiday season, I hope that you will take a moment to reflect on the positive difference YOU made in the lives of those affected by Katrina.
Due to some family losses, I dropped out of this, but some other Aspen locals stepped in and continued to help Shandra Earl and the families relocated to Baton Rouge. The Aspen Rotary Club, thanks to Jeanette Darnauer, donated lots of dollars, which were deposited into an account we set up and then spent in person by another Aspen local, Ruth Harrison, who drove to Baton Rouge and was able to buy items while there.
The Aspen schools stepped in to donate books, Aspen dentists donated toothpaste and toothbrushes, and each child enrolled in the school received a book, toothpaste and brush. The Aspen Thrift shop let us take bags and bags of clothing and household items ” some of which we shipped (thanks to an unnamed source for help!) and some Ruth drove down in an SUV … which was loaned to her from another Aspen family and the gas paid for by other locals. It was amazing. Ruth came back with lots of stories of families who had nothing ” and thanks to your help ” were able to pick out clothes and household items that you had sent Shandra. Shandra turned out to be the world’s best organizer !
When Ruth arrived, Shandra had sorted everything in piles in her home and had families schedule appointments to come by and pick out what they needed. Ruth commented over and over how each family only took what they needed. One relocated teacher who had no dishes only took service for two from the service for 10 that was donated because she wanted to make sure there were dishes for others. We were able to buy mattresses for 14 families who were sleeping on the floor !
One very touching story was Danny ” Danny has a large dog named Casper. If you’re a dog lover like me, you’ll appreciate that Danny carried Casper on his shoulders through the flooded streets of New Orleans ” got a ride to Baton Rouge where he slept on the floor of the animal shelter with Casper so that he could stay with him ” they had lost everything. When Ruth arrived, someone in the school had met Danny and shared his story with Ruth. Jane from Little Annie’s had hung a sign on her dog T-Bone that read “If you think I’m cute, donate to Katrina dogs.” So she took those dollars and paid for treatment for Casper and bought some household goods for Danny. Here’s an excerpt from Danny’s thank-you letter : “Had it not been for God’s people looking out for me I really think I would have lost my mind. Thank you for putting my life back together.”
Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen.
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Former race-car driver, current Lewis Cellars winemaker Randy Lewis hosts Aspen dinner alongside chef Byron Gomez as part of the “Aspen Summer Supper Club Series” at 7908.