Local kids set up impromptu bake sales yesterday morning, while the Salvation Army continued mobilizing countless volunteers in a dozen states for one of the largest relief efforts in history.
A Falls Church couple left home for the Delta with a bus full of donated medical and building supplies, and a national Web site -- www.hurricanehousing.org -- announced offers of more than 90,000 beds throughout the country for homeless survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
Homespun or high-tech, relief efforts moved forward this weekend in area neighborhoods and across America.
On a corner near their home in affluent Chevy Chase, Solomon and Cecilia Goldfarb, ages 8 and 6, and their neighborhood friends sold brownies and lemonade yesterday morning, gleaning more than $300 from passing bicyclists, motorists, even a city bus driver. Because their parents all offered to match whatever they earned, by early afternoon, they had delivered more than $1,000 to the American Red Cross.
"I hear there are lemonade stands going on everywhere," said their mother, Aviva Goldfarb. She said she thinks that many parents raising families amid affluence were hoping to open their children's eyes to the needs of others.
"A lot of us want to teach our kids some values," she said.
Less than a week after Katrina hit, U.S. help for victims already has surged past the level raised for South Asian tsunami relief in the same period, nearing the $100 million mark, according to charities and experts. More will be needed, all agreed. In the face of what seems like an insurmountable challenge to rebuild lives, as well as cities, giving in ways large and small helps people watching the tragedy feel less helpless.
"They've got to start from scratch. It's just devastating," said Tia Young, who along with members of the Falls Church-based Widows and Orphans of God spent yesterday morning gathering donations of clothes and housewares from stores. "This is what it's all about, or what it should be about."
By yesterday evening, they were helping 10 storm survivors bed down in local homes. The group included a grateful and utterly exhausted Sonyetta Cook and her three young children. She lost her home in Pass Christian, Miss., and her day-care business.
"We've lost everything but our lives," Cook said. "Still, we're blessed."
In Hyattsville, Angela Frazier's apartment was filling up with shoes and clothing, even teddy bears donated by her neighbors in Hyattsville and nearby Chillum.
"This is a poor neighborhood," Frazier said. "People who come from poor neighborhoods know what it's like."
Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) said yesterday that his city is planning to send a convoy to Louisiana tomorrow morning consisting of more than 30 fire, police, transportation and public works vehicles.
In Silver Spring, members of Moose Lodge 658 sent out a call for donations of everything from toothbrushes and baby wipes to tarps and building supplies.
When they get enough emergency supplies to fill a tractor-trailer, they plan to drive the donations to the Moose Lodge in Baton Rouge for distribution.
"A lot of people want to do something," said Thomas Kenny, an official at the Silver Spring lodge. "If everyone in Silver Spring brought a toothbrush, we'd fill up the truck in no time."
By yesterday evening, Kevin and Nancy Walker from Falls Church had reached Knoxville, Tenn., in their donated bus full of emergency supplies destined for distribution to churches in Baton Rouge. They planned to bring home evacuees in their bus. Their neighbors have offered rooms to displaced people who need them. But the whole effort is a work in progress, Kevin Walker said as he drove.