Hurricane Katrina has devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States. Affected areas included Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.

Air America Radio’s Public Voicemail is a way for disconnected people to communicate in the wake of Katrina. The United States Department of Labor is offering Hurricane Recovery Assistance. FirstGov.Gov can assist in finding one’s loved ones. Donations are being accepted by the American Red Cross, Network for Good, Habitat for Humanity, the SPCA of Texas (who helped with the overflow of animals once the Louisiana SPCA was overfilled), and the Salvation Army. HoustonPBS has information about non-monetary donations. is aware — very aware — that there are body modification professionals who have lost their livelihood. Their statement:

Needled has a group of tattooists who are willing to donate their used tattoo machines and supplies for those artists who were affected. Please contact us if you need this help.

There were dozens of IAM members within 150 km of Biloxi, MS, who were affected by this natural disaster; as their status is learned, it’s been updated. Our friend Matt Gone (IAM: Matt Gone) lost just about everything but his body suit; he’s being sponsored by various members of our community. Assistance has been offered in the forms of pet cages, baby clothing, housing, and, of course, money.

Of course, you already knew most, if not all, of this information if you were logged into IAM this week.

The international community of body modification enthusiasts and professionals has stepped up to help friends and strangers alike, not only with cash and goods, but with information. It’s not an overstatement to declare that this community has made a difference.

I’m proud to be a member of this community.

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