The victims of Katrina are being distributed all over the south. Hundreds here, thousands there. The little town of Mamou offered to take in 50, they were brought 500. The victims were brought with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. These little towns need our help in order to feed these poor souls.

Here are my suggestions as to how we (all of us in the fire service) can step up to the plate for the victims of Katrina. Short of heading down, here are some things that we can do to aleviate the suffering.

1. Work a shift for the victims. Yes, work an overtime shift and donate the proceeds to a charity in the affected area.

2. Go down to your local national charity office and pick up donation cans. Then place them in every firehouse in your district. Be sure to notify your local radio and TV stations and they will get it on the air. People want to donate but most don't know how. Let's give them the opportunity.

FYI: The Red Cross only takes 9% to run their organization. I read that some will not donate because they think that this is too high. I have to call B.S. This is only an excues to do nothing. 9% pays for buildings, phones, power, vehicles, fuel and in my case a 2% credit card fee. That's pretty much it.

I sent my donation online to ---> http://www.swla-redcross.org/

Here's a place where 100% will go to Katrina relief:

United Way of Acadiana Katrina Evacuee Fund
PO Box 52033
Lafayette, LA 70505-2033

Credit card donations can be made by phone by calling United Way of Acadiana at 337-233-8302, extension 0.

There are many other fine organizations at: www.give.org

We are America's fire service. We are men and women of action. Let's step up and help these people in their time of need.!