UPDATE: Episcopal Relief & Development has issued a 2/11/10 press release,
Although the storm has passed, reports indicate that some areas could be without power for up to a month while services are restored. With no heat, electricity or running water, these communities continue to face temperatures well below freezing. They are bracing for the possibility that this winter’s worst storms are yet to come. The most severe winter weather usually does not hit this area until March or April.
In North Dakota, the diocese will use emergency funds to provide critical relief in the form of lodging and food. Once immediate needs have been met, they will begin restoration work on area residences damaged by the storm. The Diocese of South Dakota will employ emergency funds to provide food, mend broken pipes, restore access to clean water and supply propane for heating homes.
“Although much of the world’s focus is on the problems in Haiti, it is crucial that we do not forget those in need here at home,” said Abagail Nelson, Episcopal Relief & Development’s Senior Vice President for Programs. “Episcopal Relief & Development is committed to supporting the communities of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Reservations as they recover from these storms and get back to life as normal.”
Cathy Lynn Grossman meditates on why some disaster stories go under reported. She draws attention to the 30,000 Cheyenne River Sioux who are snowed under and have gone without power for two weeks:No photos or video of sweet suffering faces. No popular vacation landscape for a backdrop. No personal connective ties. Are those the reasons the natural disaster in the Great Plains has gone below our philanthropy radar? How many of us knew anything about the massive winter storms that have left the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation without power or water or heat for nearly two weeks?Read it all in USA Today's Faith & Reason.
The Episcopal Bishop of South Dakota, John Tarrant is calling for relief funds from Episcopal Relief and Development, and set Valentine's Day for a special collection to help the 30,000 Sioux in an area the size of Connecticut.
Are we like the applauding audience on that old TV show Queen For A Day where the housewife with the most piteous tale and the greatest audience response could win a new fridge?
Do we move faster to help the cute, the convenient, the folks who tell the saddest story? Why do some causes get snowed with aid while others don't?