Magazine article Vegetarian Times

A Word to Live by for 2006

Magazine article Vegetarian Times

A Word to Live by for 2006

Article excerpt

When I last Wrote to you, Hurricane Katrina had just finished ravaging the Gulf Coast-and we had just cooked up a way to do something besides send money. For those who didn't see our plan, here's an excerpt from that Editor's Note, which was inspired by one of several towns that "decided to adopt a Gulf coast town for the 5, 10, even 20 years-whatever it takes."

Brilliant, I thought. And finally, my own brain kicked in: "Towns can adopt towns. We're a little family. We can adopt a family. Again, not for a few weeks but for however long it takes to get them back on their feet. But who? Our circulation department is gathering the names of every subscriber along the stricken Gulf coast. We'll start there and network out. Stay tuned."

That day, a staffer said she thought the biggest challenge would be finding a family. I need to change her job title to Staff Soothsayer. Our subscriber list for the hurricanehit areas had more than 1,300 names. To call all of them, we'd have had to cancel this issue! Plus we quickly realized that we couldn't reach those who needed help most anyway-they not only didn't have phones or email, they didn't have mailboxes, post offices or even addresses. ("Astrodome" wouldn't cut it.)

So we switched to plan B: grass roots networking. The vegetarian mom of an editorial intern was volunteering in a storm-struck town; she added looking for a vegetarian family to her daily tasks. No luck. We contacted the Red Cross, including a local center that was relocating refugees. …

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