In the words of USA Today contributor Alcetis Oberg: "In the wave of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the country did not wait for a government to act. Our response to others in need was not just about donating money and goods, but also about the giving of ourselves."
In Houston, Texas, within days after Katrina struck and evacuees were headed there, church and civic people set up hundreds of public shelters, health and child care centers, housing and transport assistance, security protection and temporary schooling. More than 50,000 volunteers helped wherever there was a need.
Others from various parts of the nation used their vacation time to travel to the stricken Gulf states , employing their talents and resources to help out. Some provided free meals, laundry, wireless Internet services and even entertainment. On the downside, "carpetbaggers" also traveled to the disaster area for free food and shelter and even stole truckloads of donated supplies.
Throughout the country, millions more donated to charities set up to help hurricane victims. Overall, ordinary Americans acquitted themselves well during this national crisis. This is something for which we should all give thanks to God. (Source: USA Today.)