A friend of mine who lives in Louisiana has been working her fingers to the bone at a local shelter since the Katrina disaster occurred. She has provided specific examples of the types of items the people in the shelter need so I thought I would post the list here along with the address to the shelter. I've confirmed that mail IS being delivered there with no problem so please feel free to send anything from this list if you want to help. Monetary donations are gratefully accepted as well, but sending the actual items will help relieve some of the burden from the shelter workers of having to go out and do the purchasing and transporting. If you need a receipt for tax purposes, put a note in your package (make sure to include your return address!!) to that effect and you'll receive one.
Here's the list:
"Our big needs right now are:
1. New undies for men, women and children. The women need plus size panties, bras in the middle of the alphabet and training bras for the girls. The men are asking for XL, 1X plain white t-shirts.
2. We have about 20 school age children and we have all but 4 registered to start school on Monday. They all have to wear uniforms here so we need belts of all sizes in black, brown, navy or khaki. We also need socks in black, white, or navy. The shirts they need are just standard polo uniform shirts. The colors vary by grade and school but the one color that works for everyone is white.
3. We’re able to get plenty of bottled water and we offer it freely at every meal but some of our guests would really like a soft drink now and then.
4. We also need large trash bags, everything from tall kitchen size bags all the way up the commercial bags that fit 55 gallon drums.
5. We have plenty of paper plates but we could use bowls, like those Styrofoam kind.
6. We go through tons of plastic utensils every day. Do they make plastic serving utensils? Someone should, I’m tired of washing serving spoons.
7. We need small boxes or bottles of laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets. We’re helping our guests do their own laundry at a nearby laundromat and the smaller containers are easier to handle.
Here's the mailing address:
Trinity Bible Church
130 E. Broussard Rd.
Lafayette, LA 70503"
I'll add a little something to sweeten the deal, too. For anyone who mails or e-mails me a copy of a receipt from this shelter, I'll send you a free pair of Silver Parrot earrings worth at least $25 or more as a thank you for your generosity in helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Thanks in advance for your help!
And now, on to my rant! I took the kidlet over to the big entertainment center at the Irvine Spectrum yesterday. We met up with a friend of mine and her two kids and had a great time riding the little train and the carousel and having lunch. We went to the bookstore (where I learned that Sept. 19th is official "Talk Like A Pirate Day" and found some pirate books for the kidlet). The kids got a lot of exercise running around like crazy and one of the places they ran to was a pet store. So, cool, we're in the store looking at all the animals and enjoying ourselves when I see this guy pick up a gorgeous scarlet macaw parrot and walk outside with it on his arm. I asked a store employee about it and he said "well, it's okay because he's buying the bird and he's just hanging out with it so it gets used to him." Okay, great. We go back to looking at puppies and fish and guinea pigs.
Then, it's time to leave the store and I start to take Ryan over to where this guy is sitting with the macaw so Ryan can see it up close when I suddenly notice something. This man (and I use the term loosely because what I really want to call him is $*($&(#&!! imbecile) has lit up a cigarette and is sitting there blowing smoke into the bird's face! I wanted to cry for the bird and beat the shit (see, Jenie, I do know some bad words!) out of this moron all at the same time.
This beautiful, amazing creature is going to end up a bedraggled, feather-picked mess with a racking cough that will eventually shorten its life. All because the moron with more money than brains (apparently) has no clue about how to take care of a parrot. The respiratory systems of birds are far more efficient than those of mammals which means they are far more susceptible to airborne contamination than mammals are. Idiot asshole with the cigarette has obviously never heard of the whole "canary in a coal mine" scenario.
Why are people so $()#&@)!!* stupid? I just don't get it. I desperately wanted to confront this guy, but since I had Ryan with me, I didn't want to start something that might turn ugly. So, I compromised by going back inside and saying something to the store manager about either re-considering the sale to this guy or AT LEAST talking to him about proper care of a macaw (or any bird) and that it most definitely does not include cigarette smoke.
I'm sure it was probably a waste of time, but at least I tried something. Later, I went home and gave both my birds extra head scratches and some fresh fruit and veggies to eat.
And here I thought I couldn't possibly loathe smoke any more than I already do, but this was far worse than having my dinner ruined by smoke or having to walk the gauntlet of smoke by the front door of my office or receiving smoky bead supplies in the mail. This poor bird has no choice in who buys it or what they do to it.
It's not even "Talk Like A Pirate" Day yet and I'm already saying "ARRRGGHHHH!"