Our country has experienced a severe crisis with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. CNN and the other networks are doing an excellent job at showing Americans what is happening to our neighbors in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Our TV screens are filled with people who are desperate to be rescued, desperate for food and water, and desperate to find their loved ones. Their lives have been reduced to the clothes that they have on their back and as they walk around in shock, they know they have no where to go.

After going through the shock of being in NYC at the time of 9/11, I know that these people are in survival mode. They’re unable to feel anything at this moment. All they can think about right now is how to survive moment by moment. They’re not thinking about their bills that they have to pay, or the things that they lost. They are thinking about keeping their families safe and how to get to somewhere that has the basic amenities.

What is so inspiring to me are the many, many people in our country who are stepping up to the plate to help. School children, churches, organizations and even Mary Kay reps are rallying the support of the people they know to collect money, food and items to help the people who lost everything. These are the heroes that are going to lead our country back to its greatness. These are the people that we can get behind and support.

During the aftermath of 9/11, one of my good friends Katherine went to ground zero and volunteered her services. Before she knew it, she was organizing the food for all of the rescue workers who were working for months. Katherine worked far into the night, for no money and no rewards other than it was her civic duty to help these people. She organized the food and distributed the food. She worked among the dust and the ruins and she got others to join her in her effort. That shows leadership and charisma in desperate times.

The other day, another friend of mine in Charlotte, NC, Shari sat by the TV like most of us and felt humbled by what she saw. She didn’t know how she could help, but from the deepest pit of her soul, knew that she had to help those who have been devastated by this hurricane. Her idea lit her up and she has now spread it across the nation. She’s inspiring Mary Kay Reps to contact every single client that they have to sell products with the intention that the income that is derived from it will go to the victims. She has 138 women in her direct unit and if each of them sell to 10 people and make $250 apiece to donate, then her unit can send approx: $25,000 to the Red Cross. is www.marykay.com/sbraendel

THAT is taking immediate action. THAT is showing leadership. And THAT is someone who is charismatic and getting others to help NOW.

We can all gain insight from these women and thousands of others who are stepping up to the plate to offer assistance in the form of money, time, ideas and supplies. The call now is to each of us: “what can WE do to help?” Can we offer a home? Can we offer supplies? Can we offer money? Can we offer time? Can we pray for the survivors?

There is no doubt that our country has been blessed for years and years. We have our basic needs met on a daily basis and many of us live with luxuries that we now take for granted. We’ve been able to help many countries who are less fortunate than us. Much of that has been done by the politicians and the entertainers who have been so gracious to raise money.
But now the crisis is once again hitting us at home. We’re seeing the every day heroes emerge and encourage all of us to lend a helping hand. Lets support their leadership and support our neighbors and show the world, why this country is so great. We can’t be defeated and we won’t be defeated. We’ll rise up, and do what we have to do. The ones of us who are strong will lead the others to safety. No matter how desperate we get. We will still have great people who will help the weakened. It’s the great people of our country that will survive. We may not have our land, but we have the people and that is what makes up the U.S. We are still the United States of America, the greatest country in the world.