Friday, November 2, 2012

Diana's Disaster

As a person who lost my home and neighborhood to a dreadful hurricane called Katrina, I am always amazed at the people who use these disasters to tout their own superiority as "Christians" who are protected by their favor with "God." Are the states of New York and New Jersey part of that 47% who are simply choosing to define themselves as victims? Or maybe their "sinful" ways have brought the wrath of "God" upon them?

For me, Hurricane Sandy is Diana's personal disaster. I am grateful for every tax-paying citizen's money that funds FEMA efforts that assisted my state after Hurricane Katrina, and is in the trenches helping my cousin's state of New Jersey. They need a lot more than FEMA, however.

My first cousin Diana and her husband Keith have spent their whole adult lives advocating for children and troubled families. Each of them works professionally for organizations that assist these populations. They adopted three beautiful children and are now grandparents of a darling granddaughter. They have a grown son, a daughter working in the film industry after obtaining her degree, and another daughter in college.  They are highly educated taxpayers, just like so many of you. They choose to use their skills for the greater good, rather than in the for-profit corporate sector.

The headquarters and staff of my cousin's organization has been hit hard by this hurricane. She has not run away; she is at the office coordinating efforts to help her staff and the many people she serves. I am so proud that she has asked me to assist in her efforts to assist her population.

Here is what she wrote to me about her organization:

About 80% of my staff are without power, heat, hot water, phone and internet...And of course millions of other NJ residents are as well...Our offices were without power or phones until yesterday afternoon. We are opening today with a skeleton crew and trying to help families.

We are starting up a fund to help families who have children with special needs who may have lost equipment, special food and nutritional supplements, etc., So you can certainly make a tax-deductible contribution to the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network and put "Sandy" in the notes line. Address is below.

Hope you are well.

Diana MTK Autin, Executive Co-Director
Statewide Parent Advocacy Network
35 Halsey Street, Newark, NJ 07102
973-642-8100 x 105

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