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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

An American Hero

David Perez...
At first, Perez intended to just donate supplies. But within days, he had blasted through roadblocks of bureaucracy to fly 384 evacuees on chartered and corporate jets to California and several other states, including more than 125 of them to San Diego. With help from friends, including billionaire computer-maker Michael Dell, Perez marshaled cargo planes, jets, tractor trailers and barges to ship 380 tons of donated medicine, food, water and supplies to shelters and rescue teams in Mississippi and Louisiana.


Perez said he has spent more than $250,000 of his own money, lending his American Express card number to people he had just met. His passion proved to be persuasive as he talked philanthropists, corporations and faith-based organizations into spending at least $20 million on relief efforts.


Perez is still trying to bring evacuees here by bus and train, and to reunite others with their families. He's gotten local towing companies to donate used cars to the evacuees. He also has set up a nonprofit corporation called 2 Life 18 Foundation Inc. to help provide financial aid, housing and jobs to evacuees. His goal is to raise $1 billion. So far, he has collected about $50,000 and has contributed $170,000 of his own, he said. This is in addition to the $250,000-plus he has already spent.
How is that one man with connections and resources can accomplish all this in a few days time, when our federal government still cannot get their act together over 3 weeks later? I am utterly stunned... It boggles the mind. Are all of our so-called leaders that inept?

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