Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Texas, Target, and Twin Cities

Here is the final Katrina update from Jim Lodoen (via Gene Allen) of the Minneapolis law firm of Lindquist and Vennum.

Thanks for the e-mail. Yes, I can still use contributions. My stay
has
been extended to Sunday due to Mom's condition.

I have had $7,000 in total contributions to distribute from L&V,
a
client and a couple of friends. I distributed another $1,600 in
Target
cards this afternoon. Tonight I had $500 remaining, a
$100 Target card
and $400 cash left in my wallet, after I
returned from the Reliant
Center. I went to the hospital for the
evening to visit my mom until
about 9:15 I had planned to walk
back to the hotel but as I walked out
the Holiday Inn shuttle
was by the door so I got on instead of walking.
As it made its
rounds to other hospitals on the way back I spotted a mom

with 4 little kids walking out of another hospital. I noticed they
had
on wristbands indicating that they were staying at the
Astrodome
complex. I asked the driver to stop and I jumped off
to talk to them.
As I walked up to them to ask how they were
doing mom explained that her
first granddaughter was born
there today and they had been there to see
her. (God's timing
is good!)


She is here alone with her 5 children and now her grandchild.
Four of
the kids appeared to be between the ages of 1 and 9 or
10. The daughter
who had the baby is 18. I don't think they
know anybody else. Her 16
year old son is missing. She hopes
to get on CNN tomorrow to try to
find him. She has been through
the facilities in Houston and hasn't
seen him. They were going to
take the train back to the Reliant Center.
I gave her the Target
card and told them to wait and that I would drive
them there.
I ran back and got my car, returned 10 minutes later and
drove
them to the Center. She was so grateful for the card and the
ride.
Before she got out I also gave here the $400 cash because I knew
she would need it. I asked the kids if they have been telling their
mom
what a wonderful job she is doing. Mom said, "yes they tell
me that all
the time." Her kids were perfectly well behaved.
Before dropping them
off I asked if they wanted to stop for ice
cream and Mom said yes, then
remembered that she needed to
be in line at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow to try
and get a FEMA debit card.

She explained that she had her family back in the corner of the
facility
and that things have been stolen from her so life has
obviously been
difficult. Everyone else I have visited with here
with children has a
support network of either two parents,
sisters, mom, dad, grandma or
grandpa. She has none. They
were sent to Dallas. I didn't even get her
name. However, I
know the hospital where her daughter is staying and
expect if I
snoop around there tomorrow I can get back in touch with

them. I intend to use any further donations, including yours, to
help
this women and her children (assuming I can find them)
including the one
with the baby.

As I left she had broken down in joy. She told all the kids to give
me
a hug and she did likewise, and then walked down the
sidewalk to their
shelter. She will use the Target card to buy
something for her first
grandchild (although she said she is too
young for that). I mentioned I
was down here from Minnesota
to visit my mom in the hospital. She asked
all about her
condition. She has my name, my mom's name and the firm
name--and all will be written in her prayer book this evening.

* * *

People at L&V have been so generous. However, I don't want to
overdo
this so I hadn't planned to send any more e-mails of
stories from
Houston. However, you are welcome to circulate
this to those who might
be interested.

Thank you.

Jim

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