Robin Roberts answers a selection of your questions about her trip to Mississippi to report on the local devastation from Hurricane Katrina. The "Good Morning America" anchor first offers her gratitude for the support she has received in both e-mails and message board posts this week:
My family and friends and loved ones on the Gulf Coast cannot put into words the outpouring of love, support, prayers -- it's making a tremendous difference.
The thing that was said to me over and over again was "please don't forget us," and to be able to share with them some of the Web postings and the requests from the public, from the viewers -- I wish that you could see the reaction of the people when I tell them that. As a journalist, I'm supposed to be good with my words. I'm at a loss for words. It's indescribable. But thank you from the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Diane asks: With all the coverage in the news, why can't we get the journalists to drop bags of food and water from their helicopters? Do you feel a responsibility to help the people you are reporting on?
Robin Roberts: We had a satellite truck that had a satellite phone, it was like a phone booth. People were lining up to call loved ones. It was like gold. They felt how I felt traveling all day Monday not knowing what I would find.
We brought cases of water and cereal bars and nonperishables that we gave to everyone. It's share and share alike down there. I gave something to my family and it was like they had a little command post in their neighborhood. And it's not just us, I've seen other journalists as well, anything that we have we're giving. When we left there, anything that we had left over of course we did not bring with us.
I have heard, and even Diane Sawyer this morning asked the president, why can't we just drop supplies? But it is so waterlogged right now, the response was, it is just not feasible. It's more of a danger right now. FEMA is assuring us that we will see a noticeable difference on the ground with aid. Having been there -- it's gotta get there now.
Camille in NYC writes: Please let all the people down there know that everyone is thinking about them. Without electricity, they must be wondering if the rest of the country has even heard about what has happened. How are they getting information?
Roberts: I want people to know that what I was telling my mother and other Coast residents, that people are e-mailing, people are calling. People are asking, that people want to help -- you should have seen their eyes. They're isolated down there, they don't a have a clue what's going on. It was so hard for me to leave yesterday, and they were just saying, "Please, please make sure people don't go forgetting about us." And I was like, "Help is on the way."
Kristi writes: What should those of us that live in the upper U.S. do to help the cause? I'm 14 and I want to help.
Roberts: Right now they need money, any amount, anything you can do in your respective community to raise funds and send it. Make sure that when it's being sent to organizations that it's earmarked for Hurricane Katrina relief.
Right now money is needed, more so than goods and clothing. That's later, but right now any type of funds that can be raised and don't worry about the amount.
Patti asks: Did your family lose their home? How is your mom doing?