How you can help people on the Texas Gulf Coast now

Please see this below from Mobile Loaves & Fishes – best instructions I’ve seen for how to help victims of Hurrican Ike on the Texas Gulf Coast:

Dear Friend,

Mobile Loaves & Fishes is planning a relief trip into the Hurricane Ike impact area of the Texas Gulf Coast.  We are leaving Monday morning September 15 at 9:00 AM from the St. John Neumann Commissary.  We need your help!  Here’s how:

  1. We need financial resources.  These trips cost thousands of dollars (food, fuel, supplies etc.).  Please click here to donate and please forward this to your friends and family.
  2. Volunteers to travel with us on this trip.  This will NOT be an overnight trip.  We need about a dozen people to man the two food trucks and one logistics vehicle we plan to take.
  3. We need Make Ready volunteers to prepare the food and load the inventory on the trucks.  There are opportunities both on Sunday and on Monday morning.

VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
Sunday, September 14
St. John Neumann Commissary
903 South Capital of Texas Highway (www.mlfnow.org/directions)
2:00 PM

What you can bring:

  • Cases of bottled water
  • Gently used clean ice chests (you will never see them again)
  • Toiletries

The government and first reponders to Hurricane Ike have done an excellent job in these first few hours.  Now its time for Mobile Loave & Fishes to do what we do best….to serve those in need with dignity and compassion.  We can not do this without you.  You are the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves & fishes.

Caritas’s clean, new Web site

Wow, what a major undertaking that must have been!

See, I’ve run and worked on Web sites for a living, so I know what it takes to perform a complete redesign. You don’t go in to it lightly. Oh, the planning, the meetings, the testing!

Throw in a complicated message like Caritas’s and you’ve got a major project on your hands. That’s why its new Web site is such an accomplishment. Caritas has been helping provide basic needs to the homeless, refugees, low-income families and others in Austin for more than 40 years. Its previous Web site never seemed to tell the whole story of what the organization does – which is everything from providing hot meals to transitioning refugees. The new Web site makes Caritas’s mission so much more clear. Less is more.

The navigation does all the work. The design is clean and open and white-spacey and modern, which is nice and all, but the way they’ve put the information in just seven drop-down menus is the big accomplishment. That must have taken some real discipline and tough choices.

Not only that, each page loads really quickly, which must have also taken some discipline. So many people want their site to have all these bells and whistles (or as one of my colleagues calls them, “spinning weasles”). Each page has an image, some copy, and just a few other links and logos, so it’s not painful to click through the whole site.

Congratualtions to Caritas and the team at Go9 Media, which helped with the design.