CNN reports, the agency that regulates Mississippi's casinos got pillows, stoves, dinnerware and other items meant for Hurricane Katrina victims. The Mississippi Gaming Commission was among 11 state agencies that received the household items from the state's surplus agency. A breakdown of what each agency received shows the commission took a coffee maker, a case of pillows, wash kits, two dual-burner stoves, plates and utensils, two cases of hand sanitizers and 20 five-gallon containers.
A CNN investigation revealed in June that for two years after Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency stored 121 truckloads of household items that were purchased or donated for Katrina victims. FEMA eventually declared the items surplus, saying it was too expensive to keep warehousing them, and then offered them to federal agencies and states. Sixteen states, including storm-ravaged Mississippi, took the items. However, CNN discovered that those items were given to the 11 state agencies, schools, cities and fire departments rather than being distributed to residents trying to rebuild their homes.
Read the entire CNN story about the misdirected aid for Hurricane Katrina victims here.
plez sez: One Hundred Twenty-One. 121. CXXI.
no matter how you write it, 121 truckloads of household items were purchased and donated for people who were trying to rebuild their lives after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. All of these items have now been disbursed to agencies who have no interest in helping those who need these items. with a conservative estimate of $10,000 per truckload, more than $1.2 million worth of household goods have been misappropriated.
this is maddening!
who oversaw this misuse and betrayal of the public trust? who is going to want to contribute and donate items for disaster relief when the window for corruption and misuse is wide open?
i have a good friend who grew up in New Orleans. his mother lost EVERYTHING in her home due to Hurricane Katrina. she moved to texas to live with his sister. alittle over a year after the hurricane, my friend's mother passed away... the loss of her way of life was just too devastating. when i hear that there were means to assist the people of the gulf coast to rebuild their lives and those items were just given away with little regard for their intended use, it makes me very angry.
to my way of thinking, the agencies who received these items are in receipt of stolen goods. they should return their ill gotten gains to FEMA, who should in return take the necessary steps to begin to make this right. even though it is three years later, it is not too late to help a family attempt to recover from Hurricane Katrina.