Cristina Connections
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 VOL. 6
Technology Lifelines @Work


Some of the many letters received by the Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council (CACRC)

The National Cristina Foundation would like to thank The Times-Picayune of New Orleans for kindly permitting the publication of the below photos from their Katrina archives. We hope that these photographs will continue to remind us all of the devastation and destruction experienced by so many in the Gulf States.

© Times-Picayune/Ted Jackson
“…Do you know what it is like to lose everything you worked so hard for?  Everything you need and want and have Mother Nature take it away?  Also, being a taxpayer for over 28 years, paying for home insurance over ten years and having to fight with your insurance company because you did not have flood insurance?  Having to depend on the government because you lost your job because it went under with Katrina makes me sick to my stomach, but I have no choice.  I have been put into a situation where no one seems to care.  Not knowing what direction to take.  Please help me and my children get a computer.  Thanks for taking the time to read my letter.


Clarvette S. and Family
© Times-Picayune/David Grunfeld
Dear Ms. Craig:

On behalf of the entire Mount Carmel Academy family, I would like to thank you for your donation of November 15, 2005 consisting of   power cords, 23 monitors, 23 Pentium III computers, 23 mice, and 23 keyboards.  I would also like to thank you for your December 5, 2005 donation of 23 Pentium III computers.  We are truly grateful for your support, encouragement, and belief in our ministry of providing formation of values and educational excellence in our academic programs.  The restoration and rebuilding task before us is enormous; however, we have made unbelievable progress and are accepting the challenge each day.

Our world will be a better place through the efforts to educate the girls here.  God is never outdone in generosity.  Your goodness will bring many blessings to us and to you.  God bless you.


Sister Camille Anne Campbell, O. Carm

© Times-Picayune/Alex Brandon
We deeply appreciate the CACRC’s generous offer to place 100 complete computer systems in the Vermilion Parish Public School System.  As you are aware, we lost seven school facilities and approximately 30% of our student population is still displaced in temporary facilities.  We accept your offer with great appreciation.  A large number of computers we lost in the flooding and these 100 machines will be great to jump start our temporary locations and enable students to again use technology in the classroom…


Jude Dubois
Supervisor of Classroom Technology
Vermilion Parish Public Schools

Dear Mr. Zuleta,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me concerning the computers for hurricane Katrina and hurricane Rita families.  We appreciate your organization’s help.

© Times-Picayune/Kathy Anderson

Families Helping Families of Southwest Louisiana is a non-profit [organization].  We work with families who have a member with a disability.  We have families who have relocated to our region from hurricane Katrina, as well as families who have lost everything during hurricane Rita.

For example, one of the families from hurricane Katrina has a son with autism who desperately misses his computer. We would like to request 3 computers at this point.

Once again, we appreciate the help you are giving the families we work with.  We have several other families we are in the process of contacting. If they have lost a computer, we may contact you again.


Mylinda Elliot, Programs Manager
Families Helping Families of Southwest Louisiana
Lake Charles, LA

© Times-Picayune/David Grunfeld
…Our temple, Gurdwara Sahib New Orleans, was located in New Orleans.  The levee breach during hurricane Katrina sent 6-8 feet of water into the building.  The flood water stood for nearly two weeks.  The building suffered severe structural damage and all the contents were destroyed.  The congregation continues to meet on Sundays in our house in Baton Rouge…

Among many other needs, we urgently need a computer, complete with a monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, and if possible, a photo copier to resume our essential clerical business. The congregation will appreciate your help in getting us back on our feet. 

Thank You,

Sumir K. Chehl,

© Times-Picayune/David Grunfeld
I am a single mother of three children, ages 14, 10, and 9.  We were displaced by hurricane Katrina and I was trying to get assistance to get them a computer for them to do their homework and other school projects if you are able to provide us with a computer, your help would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your time and consideration.
May you have a blessed and wonderful day.

Trina W

© Times-Picayune/Scott Threlkeld
I lived in Metaire, LA until Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29th, I was evacuated to Austin, TX with a group of people from the surrounding area, all with hopes of returning home in a few days.  It was subsequently determined that our neighborhood would not be inhabitable for some time.  I was then transported to the Cajun Dome in Lafayette, LA where I was housed for a few weeks.  I have since located more permanent residence in Lafayette, LA.  I am petitioning you for help with obtaining a computer for business purposes.

My current financial situation is grim, due to a lack of viable employment.  In addition, I recently had a physical for a job and was denied employment due to the discovery of a left inguinal hernia.  As the days go by, my chances of obtaining viable employment seems to be decreasing and I was told to reapply for the position six to eight weeks after surgery.  I am willing to work but the jobs I have found were either very labor intensive, which I cannot perform at this time because of my health condition, or they do not pay enough to meet my basic needs.

I am pleading for assistance for a computer to increase my ability to practice my skills.

Jeremy M.
© Times-Picayune/Scott Threlkeld
I was a resident of Jefferson Parish before Katrina came.  I have 2 sons.  My younger son is still in school.  He is now in the 10th grade.  I am so very proud of him.  He has 2 honors classes.  Before the storm, we lived in Gretna, LA.  He would come home and his homework assignments, book reports, essays, projects, etc. on the computer.  However, now he struggles to complete homework assignments.  After I come home, I take him across town to my sister’s house, or the city library to use their computer.  I tell him to hang in there, because mother has a job now.  I will save up for another computer for him.  The move has taken a toll on all of us, but we are still trying to make ends meet.  Thanking you in advance for just listening to me.

Merle M.

© Times-Picayune/Ted Jackson
I am a civil service employee and homeowner.  I used to live in a residential area of New Orleans that was flooded during hurricane Katrina.I work in the Gonzales Area and intend to return to my city.  My personal belongings, including furniture, appliances, clothes, electronics and records were lost during the hurricane.  However, I am determined to persevere and rebuild.

I was informed that you are providing refurbished computers to applicants and would like to have my name included on the list, as well.

I appreciate you help.

Sheila B.
© Times-Picayune/Ted Jackson
On August 29th, my beautiful New Orleans home, along with hundreds of other Ninth Ward residents was flooded with gulf water and miscellaneous filth.  I am a retired Parochial school teacher.  The status of my home and future residence lies in the hands of others. Nevertheless, I am comfortably residing with my daughter/son’s family at present.

It is my understanding that you, and the organization you represent, have been gracious enough to provide refurbished computers to evacuees.  Please add my name to the list of recipients as this would help with my financial record keeping and other organizational efforts post-Katrina.  I have lost many valuable records and sentimental things-yet life goes on
and the bills must be paid.

Thank you for your attention and kind consideration

Q. West
© Times-Picayune/Ted Jackson
I am a displaced resident of New Orleans due to Hurricane Katrina.  I lost all of my personal belongings, which included a desktop computer.  I would appreciate very much if I was able to replace the system through your organization.  I am very much in need of a computer because it would enable me to communicate with family members, look for work, and most importantly to take an online course that would prepare me for a different occupation.  I am thanking you in advance for your consideration.

Calvin M.

© Times-Picayune/Ted Jackson
I am currently living in Baton Rouge, LA.  I am a hurricane Katrina evacuee.  I was living in a first floor apartment in the B.W. Cooper Housing Development when hurricane Katrina happened.  The flood water…completely covered my first floor apartment and reached the apartment on the second floor.  Everything that I owned was destroyed, including the computer that I had purchased when I was in school.  I would appreciate any assistance that you and your organization can provide.

Thank you.

Kedra S.

© Times-Picayune/Ted Jackson
I’m a Hurricane Katrina Survivor.  Rebuilding my life after the storm has been very difficult.  It has also been a slow process.  But with God’s help, we will all come out of this experience as stronger individuals. Family, friends and complete strangers have been helping us regain a sense of normal life again.

If someone had told me at the beginning of August how much my life would change at the end of August, I would have never believed them,  In my wildest dreams, I would have never imagined my life the way it is today.  I would never have imagined that I would lose three of my family members due to this horrible disaster.  I wouldn’t have imaged that my routine, somewhat boring life, would be turned upside down the way it has been.  My family is displaced all over the southeast United States.  My community is fragile and in a state of shock.  But I know, with help, we can somewhat recover.  I know things will never be the same but we will survive and thrive with help.

I’m writing to request some help from you.  I’m in need of a laptop computer and printer.  I have a lot of business to take care of as a result of this major displacement.  Everything has to be reorganized.  I also am in need of internet access.  I’m trying to go back to school for my master’s degree.  And I know I would need a computer for that process. I would greatly appreciate any help that you could give me.


Charlene B.

© Times-Picayune/Alex Brandon
During hurricane Katrina, I lost my whole home.  My computer was in my living room.  The ceiling fell in and smashed everything—then it got wet by the rain.  By the time it was over, my whole house was gone.  I have a 13 year old son who uses the computer for schoolwork and projects.  It’s hard to help him without a computer and the libraries around here are still not open.  He and I would be very grateful if you could help us out.

Jennifer M


Typical responses from donors to the National Cristina Foundation

© Times-Picayune/Ted Jackson

I will be very happy to ship my computer donation to Louisiana.  Thank you for including me.

© Times-Picayune/David Grunfeld
Just a quick note to let you know that I delivered the two computer systems to the Boat People SOS this morning in Gretna, Louisiana.  Thank you so much for your help in arranging the "match."  Not only was the organization able to use equipment that I no longer needed, but we were able to discuss some possible ways in which the students at the law school where I teach might be able to help the Boat People SOS group.

Thanks again.

John T Cross
Grosscurth Professor of Intellectual Property Law
University of Louisville School of Law


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