September 16, 2005 | Steve VanderKooy

A letter from Steve VanderKooy '90 in response to Hurricane Katrina.

As a Calvin Alumni (1990) and resident of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to all of the support we and others have received in the aftermath of Katrina. While my community is having utilities restored, others further to the west will remain in the dark and without water for a much longer time. Please don't forget the folks down here. This is not the type of disaster that you just dust off and go on with lives. The needs will continue for a long time into the future.

Despite the name calling and finger pointing that the media has determined to be the story of the week, the real story is the immediate and efficient distribution of supplies, food, and water. On day three after the storm, a volunteer fireman drove down my street distributing ice out of the back of a pickup. The same evening, the Red Cross drove down the street handing out our first hot meal. FEMA has been slow to contact people who registered individually but have transferred checks up to $2000 into accounts to cover initial expenses for post-hurricane recovery.

The disaster in New Orleans is a secondary disaster, it was not part of the actual hurricane making landfall. FEMA, Red Cross, and the National Guard did what they could, where they could. NO ONE could have planned for the disaster that occurred there. Don't let the blame game harden your heart to the reality of the situation and the dedication of the volunteers who were there and are there still. Again, thank you for all the support the CRC community is providing... God Bless

Steve VanderKooy '90
Ocean Springs, Mississippi

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