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I am writing from the "office,"
a large blue tent in a field...
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Project Update
Emergency Communities

February, 2006

Dear Friends,
I am writing from the "office," a large blue tent in a field behind the Emergency Communities relief kitchen in St. Bernard Parish. Due to the ingenuity of our volunteers, we somehow have wireless internet access. This is our first attempt at a mass e-mail to all those involved, so I apologize if you receive this more than once. An update to you guys is long overdue.

What started as a couple conversations only 12 weeks ago has turned into a mind-blowing success. Our relief kitchen, the Made With Love Cafe and Grill, situated right outside the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, is now serving over 1,300 meals each day. We have a full distribution center packed with clothes, shoes, groceries and toys for the community to shop for free. We have a "Rejuvenation Station", offering first aid care and herbal remedies, as well as free massages and haircuts. Local bands come and play every week. Our food continues to be the best in a fifty mile radius.

On Sunday night, we threw a Super Bowl party that brought together people from all over the area. We are gearing up to be the most colorful group in this year's Mardi Gras parade. Other relief organizations are turning to us to help feed their volunteers, and we've begun the process of helping rebuild a local playground for the children. And of course, volunteers continue to pour in to help from all parts of the country. All of this is possible because of your help. We appreciate everyone's support so much.

Many times we look around at what has become a huge relief community center, and wonder where all of this came from. It came from all of you, and we thank you for that. Of course, the relief effort is still only beginning. Out of 65,000 residents pre-Katrina, only 8,000 have returned to St. Bernard Parish. We continue to work with other organizations to make sure every family's return to the parish is as safe, warm, and comfortable as humanly possible. If you would like to continue to help, you can always volunteer or donate at www.emergencycommunities.org.

Also, for all of you New Yorkers, I am going to be speaking this Saturday at the NYC Grassroots Media Conference, on a panel called "Stormwatch: The Struggle for a Renewed Activist Media after Hurricane Katrina". The panel will take place at 4:15 pm at the New School University. Other panels will be going on throughout the day, so if you are at all interested in grassroots media or the media response to Hurricane Katrina, please come.

Register and info here:
NYC Grassroots Media Conference
Sat February 11th, 2006
New School University 65 Fifth Ave at 13th St
www.nycgrassrootsmedia.org
10am-6pm
$20 Adult, $5 Youth (21 and under)

Again, we thank all of you so much for the support. We are going to continue to build this relief effort for as long as it takes. We are already in the planning stages of how to be an effective first response team to the next disaster. Please feel free to contact us at any time. Thanks!
With love, Mark Weiner & all of us at the Made With Love Cafe and Grill St. Bernard Parish



December 9th NYC Benefit a Success!
Thank You for Your Support

Emergency Communities is opening a kitchen and community center in St. Bernard's Parish on December 2nd. The Parish is located right outside of the Ninth Ward in New Orleans, one of the most devastated areas of the disaster zone.

The Benefit concert/slideshow at San Marcos Restaurant and Bar  in lower Manhattan on Friday, December 9th raised more than $2,000 in donations thanks to all of your support! If you weren't able to make it out this time, please check back often for news on upcoming events which are likely to include live music, great food, and a slideshow/video presentation and lecture of what we are doing on the Gulf.

Please send us your contact information if you are interested in receiving news about upcoming events!


Copyright 2006 Emergency Communities

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