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Gaddiel
09-12-2005, 12:39 AM
Just wanted to pass along this message from a Texas geocacher, who is coordinating a very special type of relief effort for geocachers impacted by hurricane Katrina. Here's the message:

Hi there fellow cachers,

Please forgive the intrusion but this is a plea for assistance. My
name is Mary Ann and I go by "Grrlfrog & CacheChow" on
www.geocaching.com (http://www.geocaching.com). Last Tuesday I emailed many of our geocaching
friends in the Gulf Coast region to check on them and see how they
were doing. Of the 150 emails I sent I have received about 35
responses. Of the 35 responses there is one family who has lost
everything, one elderly gentleman who has lost everything and one
woman who is stranded in Atlanta with no cash, a bounced payroll
check and a Red Cross debit card that doesn't work.

I am beginning to think I will hear back that more and more people
need help.

If you or anyone in your group would like to join the effort started
by the Central Texas Geocachers, please feel free to email me
directly. We have already assisted the family who has lost
everything by buying new bikes for their kids and contributing a
carload of household items, clothes, food and personal items.

We are looking to help each geocacher impacted by the storm on a
very individual basis. We will gladly put you in touch with them
one they have the assistance they need. Geocachers are a rare and
wonderful group of people and your help is needed and appreciated.

Please email me directly if you have any questions or concerns. I
will be happy to put you in touch with the other cachers who are
helping me pull this effort together. I have also started a Yahoo
group for the ongoing support effort of Geocachers affected by
Hurricane Katrina:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Katrina_Cachers/

Kind regards,
Mary Ann aka "Grrlfrog & Cachechow"
grrlfrog71 at yahoo dot com

Gaddiel
09-14-2005, 06:56 AM
A follow up message from grrlfrog:

Dear Fellow Cachers,

This past weekend I asked for assistance in getting a stranded
cacher home to New Orleans. With help from cachers in New York,
Pennsylvania, Florida, Louisiana and Texas, that cacher is on her
way home!!

I come to you again to ask for help but this time it is for a
project that you should find both fun and rewarding. Last night I
spoke at length to the cacher in NOLA who is helping me find other
cachers in need of assistance due to Hurricane Katrina. Two of the
three desperate situations we are aware of have been resolved. We
also know that there are more people down the road that we will hear
about in time.

We have both concluded that our efforts can only help so much; we
must leave the "big work" of rebuilding homes and lives to FEMA and
the Red Cross. However, what we hear over and over again is that
cachers are touched that we are even "thinking" of them. I have an
Inbox full of email messages to this point. I have also been able
to put caching groups in touch with families to be "adopted" - it
has been a tremendous boost that as an organization, we are reaching
out to each other.

Because we recognize that people are not comfortable with donating
funds to someone they don't know, we have come up with an
alternative. In an effort to boost morale and bring even the
slightest bit of a smile to cachers, we are embarking on a project
called "Operation Hurricache". We plan to build 100 Hurricaches
(care packages) to be distributed to needy cachers as we track them
down. Please think about an item you would like to include and we
ask that you send 100 of the same item. Be sure the items each
include your personal/group geocaching name and logo (if
applicable). Avery labels are fine for this. The items can be
practical, funny, geocache-related, or mere tokens of
thoughtfulness.

Some examples include:

-screwdrivers
-miniature tool set
-bottle opener
-compass
-drawings/artwork by kids (a classroom project)
-small log books
-can opener
-rubber gribbers
-pens/pencils with logos
-small flashlight
-batteries
-gift cards
-small toys
-shampoo
-purell
-lotion
-bar of soap

We are geocachers - we know where we can get inexpensive items to
include in a cache. Oriental Trading has lots of great stuff, any
travel-size item will work, and in some cases there may be people in
the groups who could get something donated. At this very moment I
am in touch with Magellan and Garmin to see what they are willing to
contribute. I have asked for GPSr's but we'll see what they are
willing to do.

Depending on the amount of participation, it will dictate the size
of the box and/or ammo can. One thing for sure is I want to be
able to sticker the outside of the container with the geocaching
groups' States and Logos. Each Hurricache will look like a well-
travelled suitcase once we get through with it.

We want cachers in the Gulf to know that we are thinking about them
from all areas of the country. From what we know so far, people hit
by this tragedy are feeling alone, desolate and completely uncertain
of their future. We need to do what we can to help.

Thanks so much for your concern,
Mary Ann
"Grrlfrog & CacheChow" on geocaching.com

More info about Operation Hurricache & Katrina Cachers:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Katrina_Cachers/

Gaddiel
11-13-2005, 07:36 PM
Another update:

Hi there Fellow Cachers!

Just want to update you on the progress of the "Operation
Hurricache" project. We have received contributions from geocachers
across the United States and have enough contributions to fill 100
boxes, each sized 12"x9"x6". Through the genorisity of many, we
will touch the lives of cachers in the Gulf coast, Texas and
Florida. I thank everyone personally for what they have given to
members of our community in need.

We will be assembling all 100 Hurricaches here in Central Texas next
Saturday, Nov 19th. We will bring them to the New Orleans area over
Thanksgiving weekend, and from there they will be hand-delivered to
affected cachers during the holiday season.

There are updated pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/grrlfrog/
and this site will continue to be updated throughout the duration of
the project.

If anyone is unfamiliar with the project and may still want to help,
please email me at <[email protected]> for information. I will
continue to receive information about affected cachers and their
specific needs.

Warmest wishes as we enter the holiday season,
Grrlfrog

"Grrlfrog & CacheChow" on geocaching.com