October 16, 2017

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Monday, September 12, 2005
Last night on Jay Leno:
"And a big announcement today from FEMA. They say they now have reason to believe a hurricane may have hit New Orleans. They cannot confirm any of this."

A few guys from work and I decided to take the day off today and go downtown to volunteer at the Astrodome. What a great day it was. I feel like we genuinely helped, albeit in a small way. Our group was split up, but the group I was in started off by picking up trash and old food from kitchens. After that, we were asked to distribute water outside. We worked outside for about 2.5 hours, but the on and off clouds made the heat tolerable. Most people were appreciative and thankful.

I even handed out water for while next to this guy. He is a rapper known as "GLC" and he was traveling with rapper Kanye West (who was apparently on damage control after some controversial statements he made last week). He was a great guy and he was able to connect to the people more than we were able to.

It was a great experience. I met people volunteering that had came from all over the country, such as Illinois, California, and Minnesota. Meeting those people made me think that taking one day off of work and driving 30 miles is not so inconvenient.

I'm glad we went. It made me realize how amazing the effort of the people has been. The donations are enormous. People are still volunteering. People are giving up homes, cars, time, and themselves to help others and that is truly amazing. Last week I was ashamed of my country. This week, I realize it is not my country I am ashamed of at all. This country is incredible. It is only the government I am ashamed of. After seeing up-close the efforts and selflessness of the American people, I can honestly say that I have never been more proud to be an American.

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