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Our often-used tagline, “Creating Community Through Communication” has never meant more to us than it does now in the wake of the still unfolding disaster of Hurricane Katrina.
Beyond the immediate impact to our industries’ friends in the region, the overwhelming scope of the devastation — coupled with the fact that many of the victims seemed so desperately poor and most were utterly without the most basic needs — moved our team to do more than simply write a check â€“ which we have also done â€“ or craft a news story. As retailers and reps and industry friends and family reached out to us to find out more about other friends and family and to ask us what they could do, it became very apparent to us that a clearinghouse of information and stories needed to be organized.
So, in addition to all the support and efforts already underway by the Outdoor Industry Association and other industry associations such as the SGMA, we worked quickly to establish a special section, open to anyone and not password-protected, to serve as an information resource center â€“ www.outsidebusinessjournal.com/katrina.
It is our hope that this part of our site, as it fills with stories and reports from the field, will serve to focus the attentions of our industry and, subsequently, our nation on what we can do right now to be of service locally to the thousands and thousands of displaced people, industry employees or not, who are in immediate and long-term need of clothing, shelter, sleeping bags and pads, insect repellent, sunscreen, hats, shoes, gloves, duffels, backpacks, daypacks, flashlights and headlamps, batteries, stoves, water purification, and just water and food, as well as so much more.
We thank all of you who have opened and continue to open your hearts, your arms, your wallets, your compassion, and your personal service. This is NOT a short-term recovery project. This is a long-term effort that will require all of us to be flexible, understanding and supportive and to demonstrate a willingness to roll up our own sleeves to get things done where the government is unable.