This is the part of this site I least like. I don’t like talking about myself as this site is not about me. It has always been about helping the people affected by what became the worst American natural disaster in our country's history. Many of the emails I have received have asked me about who I am and therefore, I will take a couple paragraphs here to give you a little history about me. First of all, my involvement in what I call the Katrina experience has been a remarkable one with many twists and ironic turns of fate. Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to sit down and write my experiences down in regards to Hurricane Katrina and share them with you all. My name is Gary Sloate. I’m from Los Angeles, California where over the last 14 years I was a web developer and computer IT. Due to some bad luck of my own, I found myself living in my car as of June 1, 2005. That story is not important now but I’ll just say I had a wonderful summer of 2005 and was content in my life at the time Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. When I moved my things into storage in May 2005, I could have stayed with friends. I’ve never been one to ask anyone for anything and therefore this was my own choice. I played a lot of baseball/softball over the summer and worked a few small jobs to keep myself fed. Things were great. In early August, I decided I was going to move to Singapore and take a job and start to rebuild my life. I was going to leave the second week in September of 2005. In early June about the time I become homeless, Coldplay (an English band) released their new CD called “X&Y”. I remember listening to this CD and loving the music but more importantly the lyrics. You see, my parents were in the entertainment business before I was born and while I was growing up. My father was an producer, director and drummer in the Big Band/Jazz era and my mother was a model, dancer and writer. My late Godmother recorded a song in 1941 called “God Bless the Child” and so on. I had a normal childhood and baseball was always my true passion in life so my own involvement in show biz (actor/model) never realized its true potential as it simply just wasn’t that important to me. Back to Coldplay. There was a song on their CD called “Fix You”. It was such a simple poignant song and I related to it on more than a personal level. When Katrina battered and devastated the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, I wanted so much to help all these innocent victims and do something. I created the Katrina video within 48 hours and was given a place to stay in Big Bear California by an incredibly giving and loving friend, Debra Stone. She believed in what I was doing and has always been supportive in my efforts to help survivors/victims of Hurricane Katrina. Over the next five weeks, I answered hundreds of emails and requests related to the Katrina video. In early November, an epiphany struck me and I decided to hop in my old car with no heat and drive to Louisiana…in a day. Over the last 6 months, I have been in Louisiana helping people in whatever ways I could. Some days it was helping people with insurance and FEMA claims and others it was chopping down trees and hauling debris from someone’s backyard. All in all my experience here has been a rewarding one. I’m not sure what is next for me in my life, but I am open to all possibilities and will continue to help others in whatever way God wants me to. I just want to finally say that all the emails I have received have given me the strength to endure the challenges of the last 7 months so I can continue helping the people of the Gulf Coast. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

One (1) love, Gary R. Sloate



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