Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Letter from Bertha Sumick, Clerk of Elections: Hurricane Relief

Dear Friends,

About eighty members of my family, ranging in age from eighty two to four months, lived in and around New Orleans, Louisiana. As of Tuesday, they are all accounted for, but displaced. Four families are in one house in Covington, Louisiana, three in one house in Baton Rouge, four families in an apartment in Denham Springs, two families in an apartment in Baton Rouge, four families in Texas, two families in Florida, two families in a house in La Place, etc.

They are all proud, hard working, middle class families. They now have no homes or severely damaged homes, no jobs, no schools and no churches. It is a tragedy, but they will overcome.

Our family has been in New Orleans since the mid-1800's. They were almost all Irish who worked on the Mississippi River and the docks. Our grandparents and great-grandparents lived in the Irish Channel section of New Orleans.They will not leave. It's home. Our grandparents, William and Matilda Devine, better known as Willie and Tillie, had six daughters, Ruth, Catherine, Mary, Bertha, Irene and Dorothy. Irene died in infancy, but the rest have always remained close.

My mother married my father, a Protestant New Jersey Yankee in 1944 while he was in the military during World War II. Neither family was happy. Both families fought in the Civil War, but on different sides. They finally got over it. I am the only Yankee living north of Baton Rouge.

Today I opened a non-profit account, "Devine Family Hurricane Relief". The Red Cross and Salvation Army do a wonderful job, but I want to send the money directly to where it is needed without a middle man.

Whatever help you can give me, letting people know, will be greatly appreciated by me and my family. Please contact me at:

Thank you.

Bertha Sumick
Clerk of Elections

No comments: