Comforting Katrina's Children
A MISSION OF HOPE
“I was surprised by my own emotional response,” says Reese Witherspoon (with Tylea Conner, 4, left, and Ashanti Chartain, 2) at a FEMA trailer park – one of three sites, along with a school and makeshift hospital, that she visited with a delegation of 30 women from Hollywood.
CLOSE TO HEART
“I see a lot of hope and joy in these children, laughing and playing despite all that’s happened,” says new mom Jennifer Garner (with Tylea Conner). “I’ll think of them when I hold my own daughter close to me.”
FOR THE KIDS
Terrishyn Harris, 7, and her sister Fredaija, 6, go to an after-school program run by the Children’s Defense Fund, which sponsored the trip. “I worry about these children. No one has responded to their cries for help. Their families say, Tell our story. We’ve been forgotten,’ ” says Witherspoon.
“Why am I here before my lawmakers?” asked Holly Robinson Peete (left, with Malaak Compton-Rock, wife of comedian Chris Rock) on hearing that only 88 of 535 legislators have come to New Orleans. “Why aren’t they down here seeing this?”
A HELPING HAND
Witherspoon (right) listens as Jonetta Burnett (with son Raynell, 4) tells of last seeing her ailing father in the Superdome. He was separated from the family for months and died before they could be reunited.
A JOYFUL NOISE
Actress Cicely Tyson, Charmaine Neville (singer Aaron Neville’s niece), Witherspoon and Garner watch a performance by young Katrina survivors at the school. “We will lose a whole generation of children if we’re not careful,” said Tyson. “This storm has not passed.”