Cristina Connections
Linking Life To Its Promise
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 VOL. 6
by Yvette Marrin, President and co-founder
Editor in Chief's Column
After Katrina

Yvette Marrin

When Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005, the storm breached the levees in New Orleans causing the flood of water that was released to move into the low areas of the city and entirely flooding Saint Bernard Parish.  Storm surges also devastated the coasts of the Gulf coasts of Mississippi and Alabama and the heavy rain that continued to fall created additional damage. It has been reported that at least 1,836 people lost their lives because of the storm. The storm was estimated to have been responsible, as well, for $81.2 billion in damage, making it the costliest natural disaster in U. S. history. Thousands of survivors were displaced from their homes.

For the people who stayed in the devastated cities and the evacuees who found themselves in parts hitherto unknown, the work of reconstruction was an enormous challenge, both personally and for the cities that harbored them. The economic and environmental effects of the storm were an enormous challenge to face and overcome.

Billions of dollars were allocated by both the government and private sector for dealing with the aftermath.  However, as we all have unfortunately discovered, there were many situations, that were insufficiently addressed, some when the emergency was at its height and now in the aftermath more than a year after the hurricane struck.

The National Cristina Foundation is in Phase One of a long term plan to assist individuals and communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina and also that of Hurricane Rita that followed.  We are identifying and partnering with strategically positioned organizations to address critical technology needs of people who must rebuild their lives.

It has been our privilege to work with some very special charities that have or are continuing to play significant roles in such communities as New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Houston, Texas and Mississippi.  We plan to continue to identify the populations of evacuees settling around the country in order to provide the technology essential to job training, employment and education, as well as to provide additional support to existing community services strained by the sudden expansion of their populations.

We introduce to you in this issue of Cristina Connections some very dedicated people who made sure that their organizations would answer in as timely a fashion as possible the calls for help that came out of the hurricane impacted regions.  We also want you to hear the voices of those courageous people who persevered through a very difficult time in their lives and how technology helped support that process.

To you the larger community who responded with the donations of your used technology that were critical gifts to the lives of those where it made a particular difference, we thank you.  We want all of you to know as we reach out to those whose lives have been shattered by Katrina and Rita that your old computers can continue to help in important ways.

And lest we forget, clearly whether you have one machine to donate or a warehouse full, the National Cristina Foundation will help you get these not only to Katrina survivors but to all those where their need for technology support can help them most.

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