Amanda Beheyt considers herself lucky even though her three-bedroom brick house 30 minutes east of New Orleans is history. The 31-year-old was featured...
Amanda Beheyt considers herself lucky even though her three-bedroom brick house 30 minutes east of New Orleans is history.
The 31-year-old was featured in The Seattle Times last week after she fled Louisiana. Beheyt, who grew up on the Eastside and graduated from Lake Washington High School, returned to her parents’ home in Kirkland to wait out the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
“The last I heard, two deputies in St. Bernard Parish said there was 25 feet of water mixed with oil in my neighborhood,” she said.
On the plus side, her car is safely stored with friends, and her job with Lockheed Martin Space Systems will resume in a couple of weeks.
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So Beheyt is trying to help others — specifically one couple, Ricky and Stephanie Bradbury, who adopted her when she moved south two years ago.
“Ricky and Stephanie are one of the displaced families that you see on TV,” Beheyt said. “But these aren’t strangers; they’re friends.”
The Bradburys had lived in St. Bernard Parish all their lives. Stephanie worked in the parish insurance department (parishes are like counties); Ricky was a self-employed carpet and floor installer.
“They lost their jobs, their home, all their personal belongings, Ricky’s truck and all his work tools,” Beheyt said. “They’re anxious to get back and rebuild their hometown. The parish is tight — everyone knows each other, so they want to go back.”
This week, Beheyt has been calling family and friends, requesting donations. She wants to help the Bradburys purchase a small travel trailer to use as a home while they’re rebuilding.
“Everyone should donate to the Red Cross or other aid agencies,” she said. “But I want to help on a smaller scale, on a personal level.”
Beheyt has had to turn down offers of water — she has no way to transport it back to Louisiana — but is accepting cash for the travel trailer.
“This isn’t an official donation to a sanctioned charity,” she said. “I’m just a friend, trying to help someone I know.”
Beheyt can be reached at 425-822-3678.
Open hearts and wallets
Eastsiders give generously. The Issaquah Concert for Hurricane Relief raised more than double what David Harris, the show producer, had hoped. Tuesday night’s show outside the Issaquah Community Center brought in $21,500.
Harris is vice president of the nonprofit Music Aid Northwest.
That $21,500 came from fewer than 1,000 people. To put it in perspective, an estimated crowd of 170,000 folks at Bumbershoot in Seattle contributed only $1,000 more.
Don’t expect the Katrina Quilt project to wrap up soon.
Susan Webster, owner of Gathering Fabric Quilt Shop, said she has been shipping donated quilts as fast as they arrive at her Woodinville store. So far, she has shipped 119 to Quilters Comfort America in Houston.
Webster encourages quilters to keep on stitching.
“I anticipate that we will ship quilts all over the country to places where there are large concentrations” of those displaced by Katrina, she said.
Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or email@example.com