Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blogging for Katrina

Today is official Blogging for Relief Day to raise funds for hurricane Katrina victims. I am encouraging everyone who reads this blog entry to donate anything and everything that you can to my chosen charity, Mercy Corps. This is a great organization that I first discovered after the tsunami last year. They are 92% efficient and one of the country's top-rated charities. They are also based in my beautiful hometown of Portland. One of the things that I really like about Mercy Corps is they focus on long-term recovery, not just immediate relief. Read more about what they'll be doing specifically for Katrina victims here.

During Owen's 3 a.m. feeding, I was thinking about all of the poor knitters along the Gulf Coast who have lost their stashes along with their homes. You might think this is a silly thing to worry about, and it might be a bit premature to be concerned with replacing knitters' yarn and needles (let's worry about lives and shelter first, of course) but I just recently read about the comforting aspect of knitting as related to 9/11 and that's what got me thinking.

My husband gave me the book Knitting Lessons by Lela Nargi for my birthday. In the introduction, she talks about interviewing knitters and that several she interviewed either learned to knit or returned to it more vigorously in the days after 9/11. She also talks about a LYS owner on the Brooklyn side of the bridges from lower Manhattan who told her the story of survivors stumbling from the bridges into the store that day, wordlessly sitting down on the floor and starting to knit. How powerful is that?

It may still be too early, but I would like to come up with some way to help knitters get back to their craft as soon as possible. If any of you have any ideas of a good way to help, let me know.

A small irony - my sister-in-law's name is Katrina. She goes by Katie, but I'll have to ask her how it feels to have such a destructive force named after her. I think it's bizarre that they (whoever it is that comes up with these things) give these hurricanes and tropical storms such benign-sounding names.


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