Message From the President

My dear fellow Knights, friends, and loved ones:

Hurricane Katrina has left all of us in somewhat of a feeling of helplessness for our family, friends, and fellow Knights who have been caught in the throes of this incredible disaster. The first thing that comes to mind after we get over the initial shock of the magnitude of this event is, “What can I do to help the plight of those we so dearly care for?” Naturally, some are inclined to turn to the organization that is a strong bond for many of us: The Auburn Knights Alumni Association.

Let me suggest to you a better way for all of us to deal with this, in addition to our prayers and constant communication with each other: use those organizations that are already in place and doing the work. The AKAA is not set up to do this job adequately nor effectively. But, we are set up to help individuals with their immediate needs and with possible long term needs. This is going to be a very long recovery from the aftermath of this hurricane, and for all we know, there could be another one or more before the season ends. I suggest we use the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Catholic Charities. They are there now and organized to do the jobs on-site.

Victor Atkins told me that one of the most important things we can do for the victims of this catastrophe is to help find jobs for those who need them. Please use Victor as the point of contact at vbatkins@bellsouth.net. He can edit as needed, and send out the call for assistance for those specific things needed. This call would include more than job needs. Victor can also let us know of the present location of those who have been displaced so we can better aid them personally, even if it is only to send them a card or letter of support.

We can take care of our loved ones and meet their needs in every way as appropriate. There are government agencies in place to immediately aid the victims monetarily. Let’s work together to support the victims for the long haul. It will be months before they are able to return to the truly devastated areas. Our friends and loved ones need work and possibly shelter. Let us help them in the ways we are best suited to meet their needs.

To sum up: We cannot properly manage the monetary aspects of distribution of special funds collected. Please give to those agencies that are designed and in place to assist the victims. Kindly keep us abreast of the immediate needs of those we can help as you find out about them by writing to Victor. Be prepared for the stamina needed for this ordeal. People will start to burn out in helping after about a month or so. Our friends and loved ones’ needs will be there for a while. Think “slow and steady”. Be ready for constant updates from Victor, and be ready to lend a hand if you can.

Sincerely yours,

Fritz Siler
President, AKAA

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