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Gulf Coast still needs support

Nov. 29, 2005

by AMY HALL, columnist

On Christmas day, I will wake up in a familiar bed in my grandmother's house in Louisiana. My huge family, minus one very missed cousin, will surround me.

We will pray before we eat Christmas dinner and thank God for letting us be the lucky ones.

Others affected by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita will miss more than just lost family members this Christmas. They may be without a traditional Christmas meal, gifts and fellowship with family.

So much has changed in this country since I came back to Baylor in September after my cousin's funeral. We've all heard the stories of suffering, and I won't inundate you with more. I'll only remind you not to forget those still piecing their lives back together.

As I get wrapped up in finals and the approaching break from classes, I find myself forgetting that thousands are still displaced and in need of assistance. My loss occurred on one day, but nightmares of lost family, property and security continue to haunt others every day.

As the hurricanes lose their news value and fall from the public eye, we can't turn our backs on the victims. Everyone should keep thinking about praying about these people, who face new challenges as Christmas approaches. The American Red Cross and other organizations welcome our help now as much as in the days directly following the disasters.

Don't be consumed by your own problems. It could always be worse. Let that attitude direct us all toward a venue where we can serve others during the holidays and beyond.

Whether wrapping gifts or contributing time and money to the reconstruction effort along the Gulf Coast, those personally affected by the catastrophes appreciate every kind thought and act.

Christmas is a time of giving. Give your sister, friend or roommate one less gift and give something to help those still suffering. Don't let them get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

We won't forget my cousin this Christmas, but we will carry on and help those who will wake up this Christmas in strange places across the United States.

Every endeavor made to help the victims of Mother Nature puts them one step closer to waking up next Christmas in familiar beds of their own.

Amy Hall is a junior public relations major from Humble.