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August 30, 2005


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Chris Corrigan

Here is a wiki connecting requests with donations...this one is linked on Wikipedia so perhaps it will grow in importance.



Thanks, Chris.

Rusty Stahl


I cringed a bit at the thought of this web site. After reflecting on why, I came up with three reasons.

First, classrooms (for which DonorsChoose is designed) are just about the most orderly, contained, designed and controlled environments I can think of - the exact opposite of manmade and natural disasters! Particularly at this stage, the situation in the Mid-South is about as close to chaos as we get. Certainly a year from now such a matching service might seem doable and appropriate.

Second, it is government's job, domain and almost unique capacity to intervene at the scale needed in this situation. Of course it is a human reaction to respond with compassion and with a helping hand, and people are already giving and volunteering and doing so in all kind of creative fashions I am sure.

Third, DonorsChoose seems like it is designed so that teachers can get specifically what they need. But it is also designed to appeal to the niche interests of donors. And in the case of Katrina, it should not be about what corporations have and want to give to add to their public relations profiles. If pieces of machinery are needed, again it seems to me that it is the role of the state to provide it.

Of course, as I write this I see how it will easily come off as old-school thinking, not up-to-date for the instant connections possible through the Web. Nevertheless, that was my initial reaction.


phil cubeta

Rusty, thanks. You know this is an important conversation that goes beyond the most recent disaster. Seems like every emergency evokes an emergency response and yet FEMA never seems prepared. Try google for interimtom FEMA. Tom is a good friend of mine, a Yale Comp lit guy who once worked the NY Times as a reporter. He is now in the news busienss in FL. His blog posts from last year's emergency will give you an idea of how FEMA assistance feels to those in need.

Reyna Feighner

I noticed your mention here of DonorsChoose here and wanted to let you know that because overburdened neighboring school districts will need supplies and assistance, we have invited 4,000 DonorsChoose teachers to submit proposals for their classrooms to participate in the relief efforts (through Classroom Care Packages and other projects). In the last 24 hours alone, we have received over 50 such proposals. If anyone is interested in helping in this capacity, I hope you will visit our site: www.donorschoose.org.
Development Associate, DonorsChoose

Lucy Bernholz

One place to find out more about your reader's question is by focusing on the tech side of things, not just the philanthropy side. There is an interesting conversation going on about exactly these ideas at http://www.boingboing.net and there is already a Katrina Wiki, http://katrinahelp.info/wiki/index.php/Main_Page


Thanks, Lucy.

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