Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Local Katrina relief opportunities

1. September 2005 • Murph
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UM President Mary Sue Coleman suggests the following means of providing assistance to those affected by Hurricane Katrina:

Here in Ann Arbor, the Washtenaw County chapter of the American Red Cross is asking for volunteers to help staff phone lines and process cash donations. Volunteers also are needed for hardship assignments of two to three weeks that will take them to the devastated areas; volunteers must be at least 18 and undergo a 10-hour training course.

The local office also is in need of donations of blood and cash for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. To volunteer or donate, call 971-5300 or visit the chapter’s website at

Another local organization, the Washtenaw chapter of the Salvation Army, is seeking donations of money and is taking names of potential volunteers; there are no age restrictions and no training time is required. You may contact the Salvation Army at 668-8353,, or send an email to .

Because the situation throughout the Gulf Coast region is so unstable, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is discouraging people from traveling on their own to the region to help. Rather, FEMA is advising people to show their support by making cash donations to voluntary organizations. You can find these organizations on FEMA’s website at .

  1. Also, I was just at Kroger’s. They are collecting contributions for disaster relief. The money goes directly to the Red Cross, earmarked for Katrina relief efforts. If you give Kroger’s extra money for a purchase and tell them it is for disaster relief, the extra shows up on your receipt.
       —Dave Cahill    Sep. 1 '05 - 08:40PM    #
  2. Thanks Murph! Have been waiting for an Arbor Update response to Katrina.
       —David Boyle    Sep. 1 '05 - 10:06PM    #
  3. has put together an online housing system whereby people can offer space in their homes for hurricane victims:
       —Matt Hollerbach    Sep. 1 '05 - 11:08PM    #
  4. Wow, that MoveOn site is really powerful. A good antidote to all the stories of looting and chaos. I wonder if anybody in the mainstream or mainstream-ish news has publicized the resources available on it?
       —Lisa    Sep. 2 '05 - 02:54PM    #
  5. I know that a School of Information group was working on a housing engine to scrape and organize NOLA Craigslist housing offers (currently nearly useless due to volume and disarray?) under the domain name , but it looks like somebody else got the name first? I’m having trouble re-finding the working version of SI’s page.
       —Murph.    Sep. 2 '05 - 04:16PM    #
  6. Murph, here are links to the SI project


       —Brian    Sep. 2 '05 - 05:12PM    #
  7. We’re holding a 12 hour comedy benefit on Saturday September 10th from 7AM to 7PM. Tickets are $5.00 and all of the money we raise is going to be donated to the American Red Cross. For details, Thanks.
       —Improv Inferno    Sep. 7 '05 - 09:37PM    #
  8. Ed Vielmetti is collecting quite a list of Ann Arbor-area Katrina aid links .

    I find the bit about McKinley offering up 100 currently vacant apartments for free long-term use to displaced Katrina survivors particularly nice…
       —Murph.    Sep. 7 '05 - 10:51PM    #
  9. is a crisis search engine (links to disaster relief/planning, find lost people, aid programmes, etc) that I created as my Homeless Search Portal on was getting so much traffic (50,000 hits a day) for Katrina related sites and temp housing/shelter links… Hopefully this new portal for emergency type crisis’s will help with current, past and future devastations. Please add crisis type links to our database (already over 1,000 links), it may just help a victim directly :)
       —Search Guy    Sep. 18 '05 - 03:32AM    #