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September 1, 2005
Katrina Aid: More Ways The Blogs Have Stepped Up

I will be on the Hugh Hewitt show in a few minutes to discuss the blogosphere's efforts to get relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina...

I hope you had a chance to listen to the segment. I wound up paired with James Lileks and Michael Medved, both of whom I much admire, and Michael had a lot of encouragement and praise for the blogosphere. Hugh made sure we all had a chance to talk, except uncharacteristically for James Lileks, who gave the phone to Michael.

During the day, many reports of perfectly awful news stories, but I'm not going to focus on that now. We need to focus on getting help to the victims as fast as possible. I understand the media impulse of "if it bleeds, it leads," but we don't need to follow that impulse here.

I got a couple of e-mails today showing how the blogosphere puts its creativity and generosity to work when people need assistance. Daniel Ford created a new site today called KatrinaFinder, designed to put the Internet to work in finding people lost in the storm. Daniel has a heartbreaking personal interest in creating his site:

This site was set up in an awful big hurry, so I can't guarantee everything is exactly correct. My own sister, Jennie Belle Coulter, age 25, working for Domino's Pizza in Gulfport, Mississippi, was there when Katrina hit, and we have yet to hear from her. I wondered how I, a computer/web programmer, could do something to help, and I decided to make an easy-to-use Internet site where people who are searching and people who are trying to get word to their loved ones can - I hope and pray - find each other. I know there are improvements we can make, and if you think of something, please let us know. If you'd like to volunteer to help with this project, please let us know.

And while Wal-Mart might not qualify as a blogger, they took a very blog-like approach to the same problem on their website today:

Post a message to a loved one who is affected by Hurricane Katrina. This service is also available in any Wal-Mart Store, SAMS CLUB, Neighborhood Market, or Distribution Center. Anyone in the affected area can go to their local store and post a message regarding their well-being. Please click the link above to search for information regarding loved ones in the affected area.

NZ Bear has given his time to creating a donation-tracking page, a self-reporting mechanism that surely underestimates the amount of money flowing from the blogosphere. Yet before the end of the first day, we have raised more than $100,000, and the number keeps going up. He will unveil a new page on his site designed to put specialized help together with the people who need it most, aiming at the time when cash will matter less than expertise and targeted social assistance.

I am so incredibly blessed with such a generous readership here at CQ. I scanned the list of contributors at NZ Bear's site and saw how many of you opened up your hearts and wallets to give something for our fellow citizens in need. Catholic Charities will do wonderful things in your name, and I thank you for your generosity. Let's keep this coming!

UPDATE: The port side of the blogosphere has also sent its armada out for donations. Tip o' the cap to all of you ladies and gents on the Left for your efforts.

UPDATE II: Stacy Harp has the audio of my appearance on Hugh Hewitt, along with those of other bloggers.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 1, 2005 6:31 PM

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