Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Saturday, September 03, 2005


    I've been worked up about everything going on so I 've been brainstorming for days on WHAT I CAN DO. I heard a woman on CNN who said she was in a hotel in Baton Rogue, Louisiana called the Baymont - she had been living in her car for days, someone got her a hotel and she has nothing. She detailed that FEMA and American Red Cross has done NOTHING. I went to superpages.com, got the hotel's number and called nonstop, but it was either busy or saying: "Due to the hurricane your call cannot be completed."

    I began calling ALL the hotels that were listed in the Baton Rogue area and finally got through to a Best Western. I asked the receptionist if she had any hurricane evacuees - I think she thought I was looking for family. She said: "Yes, we are overwhelmed." I told her that I wanted to help, but I refuse to donate to the Red Cross, or FEMA because I don't trust them. I asked her if there is any family I can speak with that I could send clothes to and help - I wanted to help a family directly. A woman named Denise Cross got on the phone -- she told me her home was flooded, she has no job and has lost everything. I cannot tell you the HEAVINESS in her voice.


    Trying to not let her hear me crying, I asked what I could do and she gave me the number for her sister, Trina Cross, in the Dallas area. She recommended that I mail everything to her sister who is driving between Dallas and Baton Rogue, dropping things off.

    As of now me and some friends are shipping clothes/shoes/cell phones to them TONIGHT at the 24 hour post office in New York City. If you would like to help please contact me! I don't feel comfortable sending/giving money to American Red Cross (last I heard they wont accept anything but money) or any other BS organization who take 10 percent of administration fees. Nor do I feel comfortable mailing things to the Salvation Army who will have things sit in a warehouse for weeks. These supplies are going directly to a family that I spoke to - if you're interested in sending something please email, or call me. I don't want to post Denise's sister's address on a blog for it to be all over the Internet.

    We can whine, scream, shout and roar racism (although it is) and class (although it is) - BUT doing something, even if it's a little, is what really matters. You don't have to send money -- lawd knows, I don't have it. However, we all have clothes (especially you coutre butch queens who are reading this! lol) and other things that can be given away.

    If you already have a family to help directly (or your own family in the area) then I understand if you can't do anything for this family -- however, if you don't know anyone in the area and you feel like Red Cross/FEMA and stupid benefit concerts are not enough and too slow -- NOW you know Denise Cross. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

    Peace,

    Clay

    PS. If you would rather do this on your own -- start calling as many hotels you can in Baton Rogue and the surrounding areas (just like I did) until you get through. For those who don't mind giving money, you can western union it, get an address to send things, or whatever the case may be. I didn't feel comfortable going through the internet to find someone because it might be a scam. Stop saying, "I wish I could do something!" YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ..... I JUST PROVED IT.

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    Posted by Clay :: 4:28 PM :: 9 comments

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