Katrina Project Group – The Mission is Simple
The Katrina Project Group is about Lloyd and his family. Darlene, 4 months pregnant and Derrick, a 10yr old boy. They were left with absolutely nothing, except the clothes on their backs, and whatever was in their pockets. These ARE our fellow Americans. We help people all over the world, every time there is a world crisis we reach into our pockets to give. Now it’s time to take care of our own. Make no mistake, all people deserve it, but let us make sure we take care of our own without hesitation.
Below are the emails that I sent out, in the order they were sent. Follow along and watch a great project come together.
Here’s the story.
I have a property in the Poconos, PA that is empty. it is a small 2bedroom home. Although times are tough right now, nobody has it tougher than those people that have lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. Thanks to a friend, an email was sent to me regarding a website that I can offer this home to someone for a time period (at least 6 months) free. So they can get their life together.
Thank you JG .
Here is what I am going to attempt to do. I will offer the home for at least 6 months free rent to a family. What I propose is to find donors to pay for their electric and oil heating bill for that amount of time also. I will attempt to arrange that anyone who can do that, will write their check out directly to the Electric company and oil company.
This home will need to be furnished with a few other things to get them started and I have made a list below. Anyone that would be interested in donating towards these people’s success in their extremely difficult transition will be greatly appreciated. However, please DO NOT send anything to me yet. I need to hear from any of you that can help, via email, with a commitment, then AFTER I have put this together, will give you more information on to whom to write checks out to. ALL FUNDS will go directly to the utilities, furniture (unless furniture is donated),clothing and directly to the family. So please don’t send anything yet, I know you want to, but I want to make sure we are successfully helping someone and they are gonna get 100% of our assistance.
Commiments for the following utility bills:
Electric for 6 months – $500.00 approx.
Oil for heat 6 months (winter months) – $600.00 approx.
Donations needed towards or actual items(delivered) –
a used vehicle (funds to register and insure the vehicle)
Those in the poconos area – they will need jobs, let’s get them jobs.
Please understand, this is so serious and so important. I am reaching out to anyone that wants to really help an actual family, an American Family that needs us. What more good can we do for a fellow American, then get them on their feet again after such a tragedy. We donate to many foreign countries, and that really is great, please, focus on our own country now, and our own people. Where ever you are right now, get up, walk out your front door. Then turn around and pretend your home and everything in it is gone. All you have left are the clothes you are wearing (or not with some of you “wink”). No home, no change of clothing, no food, no water, some do not even have shoes on their feet. NO SHOES! In America! WTF??
After getting this setup, I will get the names and clothing sizes of these people as well hopefully so clothing can be gotten for them.
I hope this does not cause you any discomfort or puts you out too much.
Sincerely and with respect,
First let me say, I am so impressed with the amount of support and the level of response I have received from so many of you. You are ALL wonderful. Many of you came thru with a promise of funds and many came thru with a promise of goods (furniture,toys,clothes,food etc.). WOW! You are awesome!
It seems the biggest hurdles will be a used vehicle and employment, although I have at least a couple of offers of possible employment already.
Amazing thing is, we have the assistance and nobody to offer it to yet….but that to will come.
I have put the word out to many more people, trying to reach out to anyone I may know that can give me more sources to offer our assistance. Also, please, send my original email to whomever you can, as you never really know if someone in your own network needs the help down there. Or they may just want to jump on board.
I wanted to keep you all updated on the progress so far. Also, please remember, I am not accepting any of the donations yet, as I do not yet have the family. I will be in touch will all of you on an ongoing basis to keep you informed.
Thank you again,
May you all be blessed with health and happiness,
We Found a Family!
It is now happening!!!
We are helping a couple with a 10yr old son and the mother is 4 months pregnant.
First, let me give you all their clothing size information:
Their names are Lyod,Darlene and their son Derrick.
Lloyd – 30yrs old, Waist 30/32 – Pants Length 30 – Shirt size Large – Shoe size 9 1/2
Darlene – 26yrs old – Size 12 – Large Shirt – Shoe Size 8 1/2
Derrick – 10yrs old – size 10 pants – size 8 shirt shoe size 2 1/2 – 3
I cannot believe we are all pulling this off….whew I spoke to them, and they were crying and thanking us all for helping them. Lloyd is VERY anxious to get started working.
He has a lot of experience in contracting work, painting and so forth. Also experience working for offshore oil companies, but, none of that in the Poconos.
Please start to gather it all together. I am working on getting it all picked up and delivered.
I am also working on organizing the funds, so hold on another day or two on that.
Thank you all so much and g-d bless you,
OK, time to rock and roll and put our good intentions to work. I had to put together an account to receive these funds. Formed a non-profit company “Katrina Project Group” for this job.
Airline tickets are being arranged by a teriffic group of people down in South Fla. They were kind enough to handle that.
This family is scheduled to arrive. if all goes well, next Sunday September 17. This is a tentative date pending on airline ticket availablility.
So, the next 8 days are critical as my time is also limited. Those of you that are donating goods, no need to ask me when, cause when is now. Please prepare it all in bags or boxes and set aside. I will be in touch with all of you and will set one day where I will have a trailer and go around and collect it all. So please prepare. I am guessing this will take place certainly not before Weds this week.
We still need a lot of stuff:
Livingroom furniture, dining room table, Kitchen utensils, cookware, househjolds items in general, cleaning supplies..etc etc…everything that is not donated will be bought out of the funds. We are also looking for a QUALITY used car, if you know of a dealer that might want to donate this to them, please let me know.
As far as the funds are concerned. These too are needed immediately. They will be deposited in an account and if anyone wants to see what the money has been spent on, it will be available to any and all of the contributors. So far we are trying to raise $5000.00 for them total. We do not think this is a high amount and 100% of the funds will be used for this family and nothing else. Anyone that wants to visit or offer man power to help go around and collect the goods, please let me know. If you need me to pick up checks, please let me know and I will do so, or send someoen to you to get it.
Let’s do it!
Funds should immediately be sent to:
“No Longer Active”
Ok, Airline reservations have been donated and made. They are coming into Newark airport on SATURDAY, Sept. 17th. This time I got the date right Joe. I will be there to pick them up and take them to their new home. Anyone else interested in being there, please let me know, I know they would love to meet any of you.
Please…send in your checks, I hate to sound like a broken record, sorry about that. You know I mean well though.
Also, Please prepare all the donated items for pickup on Friday. That is when myself, and anyone else I can get to help will drive around and pick up whatever we can in the metro area. Those of you further away, please see if you can find a way to ship it, let me know and I will give you their shipping address.
Thank you all, please keep it coming. Also, I have setup on my website a page to view the bankbook of the Katrina Project Group. Basically, it’s a spreadsheet that I will update and you can see where the money is going. www.marneen.com and click on the top Katrina banner. The intention is to pay for all utilities and goods needed immediately. After we get them all setup, I will write to Llyod Brooks and his family a check for the balance and close the account. Project will be complete.
Keep up the great work everyone.
Those of you that have items that need to be picked up, please email me your address and phone numbers so that I can schedule the days route. This is being planned for Friday, Sept. 16. Also, our capabilities are limited to Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Nassau County and Northern NJ.
Clothing – Please only donate clothing within the size ranges specified and clothing that is in good shape. We have a lot of clothing being sent in and want to make sure we do not end up with junk piles of things that cannot be beneficial to the family, and we are limited on space.
Funds – Desperately needed ofocurse. $5000.00 was the old number, we are looking at closer to $7500.00-$10,000.00 as our goal.
Ideas – There is a Walmart supercenter in the area where the family will be living. If you are near a Walmart, another great donations would be a gift certificate for Walmart. They can buy food, clothing and so much more there. Someone mentioned Gas cards to me, I think that is another thing that works. Mobil, Exxon, Sunoco are three stations that I know of that are right there.
I am working on the list of furniture that we do have and hope to have it done by this afternoon. Then we will have a better idea of what is missing still.
Please do not send any goods to the address below. This address is for checks and/or gift certificates. If you need to ship something, let me know, I will have their shipping address for you in a few days and will email that individually.
Thanks again all
We have the following promised to us:
Queen size bed with mattress.
1 Color TV
Assorted hanging mirrors
an Alphabet rug
1 Table Lamp
Shower Curtain with rings
kitchen garbage pail
bicycle for 10yr old
Pyrex baking set
matching dish set
christmas ball set, new in box.
an assortment of mugs
This is great.
Here is what we still need:
Twin size bed
2 telephones (desk & wall)
school supplies for 10yr old would be great
night table . maybe 2
1 more dresser
eating utensil set
I am hoping for the funds to buy a lot of stuff. On Saturday the Project has assigned someone in the area to go to the supermarket with a check and buy food, cleaning supplies, toiletries etc etc to fill the house up. The plan is that they come to a home that is full of food and the comforts of home.
Anyone that is in the pocono area that can come and help unload and setup the house, we can use it. That would be on saturday. I will need a key person to stay at the house and organze while I go to the airport and pickup our new family.
We are STILL looking for a quality used car. This is essential, and if I have to break down the door of a dealership, I intend to get them one. Anyone that can help with that, maybe you know a dealer that might want to help us..great.
Ok, enough….Please email me back with any of the above items that you can give us that we still need, and your address and phone number to contact you.
Please make sure to constantly check the website. It will show you what we still need. Also, you Must refresh your screen when you bring it up, otherwise it will not update for you.
STOP!!! No more furniture!! Unless you have heard from me via email that we are taking your furniture, we have got a house full of furniture now. You all have been teriffic in your donations of furniture and household items. If we took it all, I think we can fill two more homes. WOW! That is fantastic.
Ok, please keep an eye on the donations. Since we only gave the information last sat afternoon, donations should be rolling in starting with tomorrows mail no doubt. We are making all the arrangements to pay for the utilities, food, household essentials, auto insurance, and the rest of their immediate needs. Then we will write them a check for whatever is left.
Also….a used car is in the works….and it looks good.
Thanks to WYOU TV and WSBG radio they have been putting the word out now as well.
I will update you further soon,
My plan today was to leave you all alone. I figured maybe you all needed a break from my bickering. Then I decided…..naaaaah. I think you all can handle more info from me a while longer. Well, the donations have begun, if you check the spreadsheet you will find that wie have passed $1000.00 and this is really the first day I get the donations . I am very confident that we will be able to pay their startup costs. You are all so amazing….come on now!! GROUP HUG!!!!!!
Great job all…..really great job. Keep up the good work, I see that some of you want to come up either Sat or Sunday to visit, I know they would love to meet any and all of you.
Be well….I am going to sleep early tonight!! YAY!! No late night emails tonight all….
G-d bless you all…..
First of all. Some of you have been emailing me and not receiving a response very quickly. Please accept my apologies in for that. Yesterday alone I was handling 75 emails regarding the Katrina Project and I only am getting home at 8pm to start working on them. So it is a lot. Nothing personal.
Directions to the home will follow tomorrow night as I am exhausted.
Ok, I want to finalize the pickup route for Friday. Those of you in Queens,NYC, Nassau County, and parts of westchester. Right now it looks like the New Rochelle and Scarsdale area.
This is what I need please:
1) I need the EXACT pickup address and the nearest cross street.
2) the phone number at the pickup address at least
3) Time frame that someone will be there
Please keep in mind, so far, it looks like it may be a wet friday.
I need this information tomorrow, Thursday, so that I can plan the route.
Take a peek at the bank book, we have crossed the $4,000.00 mark. I expect that by Friday we will be well in to 6 or 7 thousand. Hoping to hit our $10,000.00 mark so we can write a check to the family after all the expenses. (utilities, insurance, groceries and so forth).
Many of you have taken charge of your own little groups and sent in some doantions, good job.
Also, the neighbors by the home have come out in force offering their ongoing help and friendship. Truely wonderful. Matter of fact, It looks like Llyod and his family are gonna have a home cooked meal ready for them when they arrive on Sat night…lol. Hmmmmm…hope I get a bite…lol.
Hey, did you hear? We had a total of 5 cars offered. Can you believe it? Well, we accepted 2 of the offers so Lloyd can getto work and his wife can get around as well.
We need to get the cars picked up. One in Promised Land and the other in IvyLand, near Philly. If anyone knows of a Tow company that would donate that, it would be greatly appreciated. If not then maybe we can find a reduced rate. Someone in the Poconos area would probably be best for that. Please let me know. We would like to try for Friday or Sat pickup on the cars.
Ok, thanks again. Don’t forget to email me the address info on all of you that we are picking up stuff.
Thanks you so much for your assistance.
Ok, this will be my last email til probably Monday or Tuesday.
First, take a peek at the bankbook, we have surpassed $7,000.00 and there is still more in the mail. I paid the electric company today an amount that will cover them for abit.
Still do not have the tows in place for the 2 vehicles, but we will pay for it if we must.
You are all so generous in so many ways. Financially, with the items we need, and with the help we are being offered.
One thing, the vehicles need to be towed because that do not have current license plates and/or insurance, NOT because there is anything wrong with the vehicles….I got some strange comments from the previous email. Very funny actually.
Tomorrow I will be on the road picking up furniture and the household items all ovr the NY area. The following are the areas we are stopping in:
New Rochelle, Scarsdale, Flushing, Hollis Hills, New Hyde Park, Hicksville and possibly NYC. If I have missed anyone, and you are near to any of those neighborhoods, email me back asap.
Also, we are picking up in NY, a very close and dear friend is handling that. See that, even
people from NJ are pretty nice….a little Jab for my friend with the huge heart!
To the wonderful folks in the Monroe Lake community and the surrounding area in Monroe Couty, I am looking forward to meeting you on Saturday by the home. I wil lbe there between 9-10am, you will see a truck with a Uhaul attached….that would be me…lol.
If anyone needs directions, I sent some out, please email me and I will get them to you as well.
Sleep well everyone…
Sincerely and with respect,
Let me give you all the run down on this weekend. You have all contributed and I figured you should get as much a picture or feel for it as those of us that were there.
I will only mention people by their first names here, to protect the innocent of course….
Friday went very well. Sue, Mike (the unwedger – he unwedged the couch from Laurie’s storage in New Rochele like it was easy) and myself drove all day and all over Westchester, Queens and Long Island picking up donations of the furniture, clothing and dry goods. We met some of you big hearted people along the way ofcourse.
Meanwhile, Bob, or Uncle Bob as he is now so fondly called, left his office later than originally scheduled and journeyed all over Central New Jersey making stops and loading his minivan with goods. He was about 2 hours behind schedule, under tremendous stress, we all really appreciate everything he has done on this project…incredible. We met up with Uncle Bob in NJ and collected all his load combining it with ours. We arrived at the house that night, unloaded everything and called it a night.
The next morning, the same motley crew met at Mullers Diner, a great breakfast place by the way, we ate and headed out to the house for a day to remember.
Almost immediately, Gary and Flora showed up (from Monroe Lakes), thanks goodness for Flora, her new name is Ms.Shelfpaper. Then more neighbors from Monroe Lakes started to arrive, Jim and his adorable daughter,and then Kate strolled up and with a big smile jumped right in to help, George and Arlene who were just great, Pat(the babysitter–wink) and Heather (otherwise known as Mrs.Ziti – best damn Ziti I ever had…no joke!) Maybe I will get lucky enough to have it again one day…heck with the Carbs!
People from all over then started to arrive, Ray and Viola (the Energizer bunny), and she pours a good salad LOL. John with the Harley shirt, a saint of a man as far as I am concerned and a great friend. Deb pulled up following John’s trailer and they unloaded more furniture and that Queen size bed that I was anxious to fall asleep on.
Ofcourse who can forget the shoppers….Kristen, Ruthann Chris and Ian…yes I did say Ian, let’s leave it at that. They went to Mr’s Z supermarket and bought almost $300.00 in groceries and household goods. Great job. Kristen is a great friend that also kept me sane for the last few days…whew.
I know I missed a few of you that showed up, I do apologize.
Then Uncle Bob, Kristen and myself headed out to pickup our new family at Newark airport. What sight to see them walking out of the gate with their big smiles. We got their bags, all donated to them by the way, and got on the road as quickly as possible. I hope that you all get to hear the true stories as I heard them on the journey to their new home. Really incredible.
Upon arriving back at the house, there was an ADDITIONAL 30 people or so there. Wow, what a surprise. That made all the difference in the world. They lost is when they saw their new home complete with a fully stocked frig, fully stocked cabinets and everything you could possibly need. You are all amazing, people thought of everything. Every little thing!
As the night went on, and we got to see Lloyd’s stand up show, this guy is a personality, it was time for everyone….except me and Kris (i was not leaving without some of that Ziti!) to go home and let them settle in. We ate a great meal by Heather and called it a night.
Sunday they had visitors all day, Gary and Flora took them for a tour of the community and i know Jim has been keeping an eye on things as well.
Today, I came by at 730a and picked up the family. we went all over and got a lot done. They opened a checking account, got insurance on the 2 cars they are getting, hopefully any day now. And a few other errands as well.
Ok, I am done, please check out the bankbook, it has been updated. Also, anyone who took picture, please send them to me, I am making setting up the gallery day by day. So visit the Katrina website and enjoy all of your good deeds.
Lloyd and Darlene will be given every name I can possibly give them, they want to send out thank you ntoe, calls, and/or emails to you all.
Back with a bit of an update.
First, Lloyd got a job and he starts on Monday….this is really great news!
The family received the first car and it is a real winner. Ron our friend down in Ivyland,PA was truely incredible. Not only did he donate the car, but he paid for the registration, and he got an inspection station to donate the PA State Inspection fee. Tremendous job Ron, thank you so much.
Unfortunately the other vehicle did not come thru, things like this do happen. We still need another vehicle for the family. Darlene cannot be left alone with the children without some means of transportation. Those of you who do not know the Pocono area, should know that they are in the mountains. There is no public transportation. The nearest supermarket is 6 miles away. So, if anyone knows of one, please let me know.
Some more news. Our dear friend of the cause Bob (Uncle Bob), has been contacted by some organization of sorts. They are taking an empty apartment building in I think it was Perth Amboy, and are going to bring in displaced and needy families from the gulf states. No, I am not leading the charge on this one, but will certainly be a tool for it’s success. I do not have more information yet, but will notify by email and website posting on it. I am assuming that those of you that had furniture and other items we could not use for the Brooks family, that stuff will probably come in handy. Anyhow, I will let you know more when I do.
For now, visit my site, take a look at the pictures. Four galleries setup for now, I have a disk full of pics from Bob and will get to them this week as well. Also, hopefully I will get Gary and Floras video tape from the Saturday and convert it to digital if possible, then post it on the website too.
Sincerely and with respect,
This is a letter from Lloyd to all of you. There was no way to get to all personally, and even now there are many that will not be reached.
Be well all,
THIS LETTER GOES OUT TO ALL THAT HELP SUPPORT THE KATRINA’S PROJECT ! WE THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU ! WORDS CAN’T EXPRESS THE FEELINGOF WARMTH THAT WE HAVE RECIEVED FROM EVERYBODY THAT SUPPORTED THE KATRINA’S PROJECT ! WE ARE SO HAPPY THAT OUR LIFE IS GETTING BACK ON TRACK THANKS TO EVERYBODY THAT INVOLVED THEMSELVES IN OUR LIFE AND OUR PROBLEM FROM HURRICANE KATRINA. WE WAS LOST UNTIL OUR NEW DADDY MARNEEN ZAHAVI , FOUND US ! HE ALSO MADE US A PART OF HIS LIFE ! WHAT A WONDERFUL MAN ! LLOYD,DEREK,AND MYSELF ( DARLENE) ARE SO HAPPY TO BE APART OF MARNEEN AND HIS FRIENDS LIFE .WE ALSO WANTS TO THANK THE PEOPLE IN OUR NEW NEIGHBORHOOD! THAT IS THE NEW MONROE LAKE COMMUNITY . YOU ALL WAS HERE FOR US IN THE TIME WE NEEDED A FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND SUPPORT WE APPRECIATE EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE ! AND FOR THE PEOPLE THAT ALSO INVOLVED YOURSELF IN THE DONATIONS AND OTHER HELP WE THANK YOU ALL ALSO. AND IF WE FORGOT ANYBODY SORRY WE BEEN HAVING ALOT OF PEOPLE HELPING AND ASLO TO OUR INTERNET FAMILY IN JUNGLE GIN ( GIN TO WIN ) WE ALSO WANT TO SAY THANK YOU ! YOU ALL BROUGHT US BACK IN REALITY ! BIG HUGS, AND KISSES TO EVERYONE . THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH , WE LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH . SINCERELY , LLOYD,DEREK, & DARLENE BROOKS