No one can seem to escape the mighty fist of Mother Nature, especially the victims of hurricane Katrina. As a typical American, I have attempted to absorb the mass amount of pain and destruction by watching it on CNN from my comfy home or a cozy hotel room. After the real destruction began to take hold, I remember thinking to myself all the violent aftershocks it could cause. After all, what’s to keep bad guys in check when they already have nothing to lose? The next morning, I awoke to the morning news reporting on children and women being raped in the bathrooms at the convention center. Since then, I have watched as countless people try to put into words the obliteration that has consumed their lives, only to recount being sexually assaulted or witnessing someone be shot and killed on top of it all. It makes you think to yourself…what can I do? How can I help? With so many problems to tackle, it’s easy to just get overwhelmed and do nothing. But as Ghandi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” On Sunday, Sept. 18th, I will be competing in the New York Metro Danskin Women’s Triathlon. I have been training for it all summer, yet all this time I haven’t been able to figure out what I was doing this for. (It’s not for the love of pain and exhaustion, that’s for sure.) But I am happy to tell you that the “why” has now been revealed to me. I will be swimming, biking and running to raise funds for domestic violence shelters and sexual assault centers destroyed by the hurricane. Many shelters have been leveled, women are not registering wtih the Red Cross out of fear their ex-husbands will find them, and children have been violated under the very worst of circumstances. The victims of these violent crimes have so much more to deal with than just not having a home to return to…and they will need these services to be up and running to assist them in their journey to heal and be safe again. If you are able, I would greatly appreciate your donation to the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault Hurricane Relief Fund. (California is organizing it, but ALL donations will go directly to the rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters of areas devastated by Katrina.) Funds will be used to relocate staff and victims to safer locations, provide food, shelter and will bring in advocates from surrounding areas to help with counseling. I have personally validated the legitimacy of this organization, and would appreciate any assistance you might contribute. Keep the victims of this tragedy in your mind and heart…and maybe wish me an encouraging thought as I get through this triathlon! Thanks so much for your support.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE
Read more about this particular Hurricane Relief Fund
More info about the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence