Stop Hate 2000 Special Newsletter September 5, 2005

Web-master's Note: This news bulletin is more of a personal reflection than a traditional news letter. This reflection was written by a Canadian volunteer of Stop Hate 2000.

Dear Friends,

Along with many people around the world, I watched news clips of Katrina striking New Orleans. Feeling helpless, at at times overwhelmed by emotions, I watched as the storm intensified.

As a Canadian, there are times when I disagree with some of the foreign policies of the United States federal government. Some policies of American governments and companies have cost Canadian industries billions of dollars. This is a time to look past the differences with political leaders and multi-national companies. Average Americans, people who had nothing to do with the policies of some American governments and companies, are hurting. American people are generally kind and very generous. Americans are often the first ones to dig deep into their pockets to assist people who have been hit by tragedy. I hope that the world has seen those deeds and will respond with the kind of generosity and kindness that average Americans have so often shown the rest of the world.

I feel a sense of hope when I see the Canadian government sending ships of supplies and personnel to assist, when I read about countries in the international community sending aid to the United States. When hearts reach out, past ethnic, socio-economic, cultural, religious and political differences and touch other hearts, I am encouraged that we can help reduce hatred.

Many people cannot afford to donate money to disaster relief. That does not mean they cannot make a difference for those impacted by hurricane Katrina. Some of the major oil refineries in North America were shut down by the storm. We can help people in the areas hit by hurricane Katrina by conserving some on oil and gas. We can conserve gas by walking, bicycling or car pooling when we would usually use our personal cars. Another way to help is to leave for our destination a few minutes early. We can then slow down a little. By driving a few miles an hour slower, we can reduce our consumption of gas, save ourselves some money and help reduce the demand for gas and oil.

A few people can afford to donate a little money to help those who lost so much to Katrina. Many people receiving this email letter or reading the letter on the internet are volunteers in humanitarian or human rights groups, caring people and young students. Some of the people who subscribe to this newsletter donate a lot of their personal and financial resources to help people. The last thing I want is for people who are already doing a lot for humanity to feel pressured into donating money. Please do not donate money until you know your budget can withstand the strain. Should you be a person who feels you have a little money you can share to help those who have lost families and/or almost everything they own to the storm, there are a few places where you can donate money. Some organizations helping direct money to humanitarian relief are listed below. We are including only the organizations that allow for credit card donations via the internet.

Warning: We do not know if the organizations have a secure system for handling credit card donations.

Natural disasters cannot be explained. There is no rational reason for them. The reason why they take place is a mystery. We want the answer to the “why” question.

Some people are hurting so badly that they are looking for anything that can possibly explain this disaster. A few people are going as far as blaming certain groups of people in society for the disaster. As has happened with other recent disasters, gay people have been one of the groups targeted as a possible cause for this natural disaster. Blaming a group of society for the ills of society or for acts natural disasters can establish a climate where people feel more comfortable lashing out a minority groups.

There are some questions humans cannot answer. We do not know the answer to the why question. We can guess, but we really do not know the answer. Some questions do not have to be answered. We can find healing for our aching hearts by helping others better than we can find healing by by trying to find out who is to blame. And then blaming that group. As we hurt together, as a world family, as we ache for those who lost family, friends, jobs, homes and possessions, I encourage us to search for ways to help those who are hurting, instead of trying to figure out what minority group is to blame. Those who have been hurt need your presence, your prayers, your good wishes. They do not need us to blame minority groups.

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