Gulf Coast SF Fans Unite

Oct 12, 2005 by

The folks from Crescent City Con have started Operation Mail Drop. See quoted email below:

Hello All,
We have been very, very busy here since the last update last week. All of you graciously sent me names and addresses to people that lost everything and I got 3 pages of names – Blessed Be!
Also we got a small flood of donations this week. My UPS man, Craig, actually accused me of trying to KILL him – LOL!
Ron Johnson and his wife Julia – sent 190 pounds of goods, instant all-in-the-box dinners and mixes, snack bars, crackers, personal goods – toothbrushes, toothpaste razors, canned meats – including canned hams, corned beef, chicken and tuna, paper goods like tissues, paper and pens and so much more. We are very humbled by their generosity and love. Thank you. We all love you!
We also got four other relief boxes in. One from an address in Pennsylvania that sent $200.00 in Wal Mart gift cards. Thank you!
With the new list of names there were several people on these lists I knew personally. On this list, sadly, was our first fatality. Cindy Snowden. She weathered the hurricane OK. But in the SLOW rescue she ran out of insulin and died of complications due to her diabetes waiting for rescue. So sad and so damn PREVENTABLE!

Packing boxes for the new list has been an emotional roller coaster. You try to think about their situation, where they are living and HOW they are living and tailor that box to be target specific. We are not just slinging goods into boxes here and shipping them off. We size and pack each box to that person or families special needs – so it will do the most good for them.

Sometimes I look down at the box I’m packing and think about how little it is – a drop of goods against an ocean of loss. So when I pack the boxes I try to fill every tiny space, every hole, every crevice with usable items – I pack them so tight you can’t get so much as a pen into them. I know that this may be the ONLY help they get and I put as much love and caring into each box as I can – thinking about how they live – what they love and may need. Sometimes I cry and blubber my way through the packing and wish I could wave a magic wand and just heal them and return all they lost to them. But I can’t kiss them and make it better – I just send all the love I can with each box. Love that all of YOU sent. Each person is SO special – as are ALL our convention familles are….
Like Joey Grillot – one of our sexy senior fans that just had major surgery a few months back. He lived in the 9th Ward in New Orleans and we worried ourselves sick wondering if he got out. He did – but he lost everything. We sent a sexy senior care package to him – heavy on groceries.
Ashley Evins – Was a college student in New Orleans – she lost everything including all her clothing and college course books when her apartment flooded. She got a care package – heavy on groceries and school supplies.
Jason Fisher – a long time party person and fixture at Crescent City Con. He lost everything. We sent him a guy care package – extra heavy on groceries.
Norman and Tracy Hopp, George Nacke, Niels (Margali) Erickson are all living with two more families in a home in Bay St. Louis, MS. There are 5 families living together in one house. George’s house was cut in half and he was rescued from his roof. He lost his car too. The Hopp’s also lost everything in the storm surge flooding….including their car. The house they are all sharing now had about 1 foot of water in it – so they are living WITHOUT appliances. All of these families were sent care packages – heavy on easy-cook foods, paper goods and personal grooming things.
Tony Kimsey lost his business – the Silver Screen (see pictures on our site). We sent Tony a care package – but more than that, I went through my own video and DVD collection and sent him 20 videos and DVD’s for his small theater from my own collection. This is what I’m talking about in sending what is asked for or needed.
Frank and Julie Schiavo – who are the sweetest and most gentle people I have ever known, got something like 10 feet of water in their house and have lost everything. Frank and Julie are both librarians and books are their life – they were also great collectors of art as they did the art show at CCC for many years. Everything they owed is all gone. They got a large care package – a good mix of everything.
By far the hardest box to pack was Matt and Karen Mathews. Matt has been a key officer at CCC for years and his pretty wife Karen has run the charity auction for years. They have two teenage children in high school. They are also huge collectors of my art – my fat little dragons. They got something like 10 feet of water in their house and lost everything. I packed several signed and numbered matted prints of my art to replace the ones they lost. I packed a very large box for this family, art supplies, colored pens (from my stock), schools supplies, candy and treats and we all know that teenagers are grocery termites – so heavy groceries.
Total pounds shipped this week; 242 pounds
Shipping costs UPS and USPS: $202.03
Wal Mart gift cards sent: $550.00
Stamps sent: 120
This week I got an APB sent out by Annette Richards asking for good used cars. In Biloxi the storm surge went inland for miles, causing not only coastal flooding but flooding in rivers and creeks that into more homes. As a result there is a chronic shortage of cars. Annette said in some places 5 and 6 families are sharing a single car – which is slowing down the clean up and salvage effort in Biloxi.
This transportation shortage had never occurred to me – even through I saw images of cars piled up like toys in debris on the news. Thank God fandom is Internet active and networks so well! As many of you know, my hubby has owned a large auto repair shop for more than 20 years. He sells a few cars and trucks on his lot – what he calls second vehicles or “in-town” cars. Some are cars or trucks that people OKed repairs on and never picked up, some are cars that customers want him to sell. So I put in a quick call to him and explained the situation. He gave me a list of what he had on his lot for sale. I typed them up and sent it back to Annette and a few others. Two of the cars sold in three days. He is offering these at discount prices for “Con people” only. For anyone that still has a need for transportation, here is what he has left in the drive off the lot vehicles.
1994 Chevy Capris: Runs. $1,300.00
1986 Chevy S-10 pickup, NEW MOTOR, runs good, needs AC work. $3,000.00
1965 Baby Blue Buick LeSaber in MINT condition, 28,000 original miles, white wall tires, mirror shine. Collectors car. $25,000.00
I’m sorry I do not have pictures of these cars. My digital camera bit the dust, so by the time I got a disposable camera, took the pictures, got them developed, scanned them into my computer and posted them – the car or truck could be sold as they are sitting in the side lot right now for sale even as I write. But I’m pretty detailed in my description if you are interested in one of these, we will hold it for you for a little while if you are interested.
Terms: These cars and trucks are NOT part of my hubby’s auto repair business. He will accept a certified check, MO or cash for them. No debit cards, or charge cards. All cars are sold as is. You can e-mail me at [email protected] or call me for the specifics on them if you are interested. 850 616-1666
In other needs this week, we discovered than many fans lost their book collections in the flooding. I’m in the process of cleaning out my mother’s estate (she died two years ago) and she was a huge collector of books – she has thousands of books in her house – the book stack is 6 feet wide, 5 feet tall and 10 feet long. Whew! She collected, science fiction, fantasy, westerns ( Zane Gray – Louie LaMoor), self-help books and tapes, romances, college text books for nursing and secondary education, a huge stack of National Geographic, Reader’s Digest condensed books and more.
I was going to donate the lot to the local library but when the loss in books in fandom came up in my e-mail I changed my mind – I think they would be better cherished in fandom. Most of the science fiction and fantasy books are spoken for – but the rest is not. If you know anyone in fandom that lost their book collection and can COME GET these books in the next 30 days – I will be more than happy to donate them FREE. I’m sorry but I can’t ship them I’m still working handicapped here with a broken left arm. But to anyone that is willing come get them in the next 30 days….they are yours. E-mail me is you are interested in a specific kind of books collection.
Also I spoke with Mari-lynn Alms this week. Mari-lynn told me that Anne McAffery is sending relief boxes of her books SIGNED to people that lost her books. I gave her a couple of names and addresses for fans that knew had extensive collections of her books. I guess that will be an exciting day when these people get a package from Anne. If you know anyone that lost their Anne McAffery books – give me a shout back with their names and addresses and I will try to get back in touch with Mari-lynn with the data.
Right now we are down to a single box of supplies and we are out of names. I have 5 more boxes packed and I will ship them off on Monday. It’s been a super busy week here packing and shipping. We still have a couple of people that requested not to get supplies, because they don’t have a place to store them. So for those people I will be sending just gift cards and stamps. They will go out on Saturday.
Needs: If you know anyone in fandom that is in need of care package please send us their name and address and we will get a package right out to them.
I thank each and every one of you for sending goods or money or helping out with this effort. A special hug of thanks to my daughter Holly for her muscle in moving heavy boxes and shipping them all. We are getting some wonderful thank you cards from fans – these are for all of you —
This is Jeff from Mobicon and Flaming Fen. I just wanted to say thank you for the care package that we received. My Parents and I are very grateful for the help and moral support from our friends in fandom. Thank you again.
Jeffrey, Archie, and Linda Murdock
Thanks so much for the care package!!! It’ll help a lot. I hope that you are all well. I miss talking to you all.
Love and blessings,


Thank you (and the everyone else involved) for your kind thoughts and care package. The items were much needed and much appreciated. I’m sure you know from the network, but my wife and I are safe in Zachary, LA, where her family has given us a place to stay for as long as we need. It looks like the house had about 5-7 feet of water in it, so I’m not sure how much (if anything) is salvageable. It also looks like we will be leaving New Orleans permanently; my job is opening a second company in Baton Rouge and I am probably going to be left here to run it.
I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say that the package arrived, and that we really do appreciate the kindness that you all have shown. Thank you for all the Dragon pictures too; they are adorable! Your kindness is much appreciated.
Bret and Maree Jeanne Funk

Be sure to check out the web site – we are still growing. Thank you all!
Big Hugs,
Debbora Wiles

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