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JACKSON – Further cries for help are emanating from Jackson, Miss. The director of Equality Mississippi, Jody Renaldo, sent out this urgent plea yesterday.

Mr. Renaldo wants to make clear that he is fully supportive of Eddie Sandifer’s efforts through the Southern AIDS Commission and the Mississippi Gay and Lesbian Alliance.

Of Sandifer, he says, “He is definitely the grandfather of LGBT activism in Mississippi, and we love Eddie. We don’t care if the donations and supplies get sent to us or the organizations he runs, as long as they come straight to Mississippi so we can put them to immediate use instead of having to wait because waiting is dying for everyone at ground zero!”

Here, reprinted with permission, is the first post Renaldo sent out yesterday when their power came back on for the first time in four days.

We’re alive in Mississippi – thankfully and appreciately!

Please spread the word that we have started the Mississippi Gay & Lesbian Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund and need the money.

Today, we bought and delivered 2 full pallets of ice and 2 full pallets of bottled water to areas of the Mississippi Gulf Coast . A local gas station not only let us break in front of 300 cars to get gas for the delivery but they also donated the gas to us!

We have seen with our own eyes the devastation and dispair. The coast looks like Hiroshima after the atom bomb was dropped. It brought us to tears.

We were able to find housing for 9 of our "family" members. There are many others who need housing, food, showers & baths, etc. and we’re in the process of trying to find so many people. It’s rediculous that the government or a cell phone company hasn’t thought to roll out mobile cell phone units so people in this area can call their loved ones and let them know they are alive! Hell, not even a single satellite phone around except CNN’s Anderson Cooper who has lent his out so many times! He’s such a nice guy and we saw the man shed a few tears as well which goes to show it’s not all about the sensational story.

Not just on the coast, but also as far north into Mississippi as where I am, there is destruction. Trees down everywhere, buildings leveled or badly damaged. We were without power for 4 days. My mind just simply can’t or doesn’t want to comprehend what has happened.

Please disregard the recent email that went out by HRC and do NOT make your donations to the Rainbow World Fund or send family and friends to RWF. It may sound selfish, but we need that money here in Mississippi and we need it now – without having to wait for it and know that 100% of it gets spent here rather than 50% here and 50% clearing land mines in Rawanda. We know more about where it needs to go than an organization based in D.C. and San Francisco ! We’ve set up a special page for credit/debit donations:

http://www.equalityms.org/hurricanerelief.html

Checks/Money orders payable to Equality Mississippi to:
PO Box 6021
Jackson , MS
39288-6021
with ‘Hurricane Relief’ on the memo line.

Thanks for all of your thoughts and everything you’ve done and will do. The people here in Mississippi humbly appreciate it!

Mr. Jody Renaldo, Executive Director
EQUALITY MISSISSIPPI
P.O. Box 6021
Jackson, MS 39288-6021
WWW: http://www.EqualityMS.org/