I spent some time this afternoon looking over pictures of Louisiana in NOLA.com’s photo archive. I know this may sound strange, but they’re the first images of the storm and its aftermath that I’ve seen—I just haven’t really had the television on at all this week. I’ve been listening to a lot of coverage on the radio, though, and after today’s round of reports, I decided I needed to look.

I’m sure I don’t need to repeat how terrible it all is, but the pictures are truly stunning. It seems surreal to see the word “refugee” used to describe fellow Americans; that’s always a word that applies to people “out there” somewhere. It’s finally being slammed home as thousands of people have nothing left and nowhere to go. I can’t begin to imagine having my life ripped apart so violently and so quickly, and being left with next to nothing. And the rescue and aid workers—imagine facing such a staggering task! Let’s keep those people in out thoughts and prayers for a while, eh?

Update (9/2): I’ve just got word that Spring City is collecting funds and items for disaster relief, if you want to get involved. Click the ‘keep reading’ link for details. Ready?

Cash donations are being accepted at SouthEast Bank and Spring City City Hall. They’re also accepting the following items:

coolers toilet paper paper towels
wet wipes diapers baby formula
bottles sanitary items baby food
bottled water hand sanitizer garbage bags
peanut butter dried fruit plastic ware
crackers energy bars zip-lock bags
canned juice nuts pet food
soap Neosporin Tylenol
first aid kits latex gloves tarps
deodorant lanterns flashlights
can openers paper plates batteries

They’re also looking for ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables.

All of these items can be dropped off at Spring City City Hall on Front Street during regular business hours (8:00am–4:30pm)