Cambridge Resident Seeks Donations for Katrina Library

Cambridge Resident Seeks Donations for Katrina Library

NOTE: DVD or VHS donations may be dropped off at CCTV.

Hello from Buras, Louisiana,

I left Cambridge back in October to come to this little town seventy miles downriver from New Orleans, nearly at the end of the Mississippi River before it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Katrina first touched land here, and very little has changed in the eighteen months since the storm.

Emergency Communities, the group I'm with, opened up a site in the shell of the old YMCA here, where they serve meals and provide other goods and services to residents trying to rebuild their lives here. For my part, I've helped build a little library here, thanks to book donations from people back in Cambridge and other places. It's been quite appreciated, with no other library or book store for fifty miles.

It recently came to my attention that with the nearest video store also fifty miles away there's a need for them as well. So I've decided to try to solicit donations of used videos from people back home in the Cambridge/Boston area. There's not much to do in this town where only one-tenth of the residents have returned, and a new video can make an evening in a FEMA trailer a bit more interesting.

So, if you have any old videos (dvd or vhs) you don't want anymore, bring them on over to CCTV, on Prospect St., around the corner from 675 Mass. Ave. in Central Square, Cambridge. They have a collection box near the front desk. Donations will be shipped down here, and I'll use them to open the new section of the library.

What kind of videos? Pretty much all kinds. Movies, documentaries, for adults, children. Anything about storms, fishing, water, or post-traumatic stress might be of particular interest, but as I'm realizing that videos aren't as easy to solicit as books were, I'm not being choosy.

Concerning books, we are running low in our politics-history section (my personal favorite) and non-fiction in general. And we can never have enough books on cooking, gardening, carpentry or rebuilding, so any of those would also be helpful.


Steve Iskovitz

For more information about Emergency Communities, you can check their website:

Reason Magazine recently published a good article on EC, Common Ground and other groups and the grassroots relief phenomenon inspired by the failure of the government's response to Katrina:

And a resident here has a website with incredible photos of the aftermath of the storm: