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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
How You Can Help Katrina Victims
Aired September 3, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Welcome back to a special LARRY KING LIVE, another hour of how you can help. Three hours in all. We've finished one hour, and we hope we're helping a lot of people. We're going to try to help a lot more.
We're being simulcast on CNN International and CNN Radio. You could, of course, go and log on to CNN.com for help with any of the organizations.
Right now, we have a very special way to begin this second hour. Eric Clapton and John Mayer are joining us from New York. Eric, of course, is the 16-time Grammy winner and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. And John Mayer is a Grammy-winning singer and guitarist.
Eric is going to donate the guitar that he's playing tonight to the fund-raising benefit being organized by the jazz great Winton Marcelus. Jazz at Lincoln Center has announced that the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit concert is scheduled September 17, Saturday night, at the Rose Theater in New York. He will donate the guitar he's playing tonight to that benefit.
Here's Eric Clapton with John Mayer from his album, "Pilgrim," with "Broken-Hearted."
KING: Eric Clapton and John Mayer in New York. What an appropriate song.
We'll be back with more of how you can help this LARRY KING LIVE special right after this.
KING: We have a new member of our panel. We'll go to him in a couple of minutes in Vancouver. It's Nick Macdonald, the senior program officer for Mercy Corps. They were one of the first responders on the ground in Sri Lanka after last December's tsunami. We'll be going to him in a moment.
But let's go to the Houston Astrodome. Cassandra Knapper is there. Her mother, Ann, is missing. Also, there is Kenyatta Domino.
Kenyatta, who are you looking for?
KENYATTA DOMINO, LOOKING FOR FAMILY: I'm looking for my Aunt Doris Augusta (ph) and my two cousins, Steven and Marsela Caddell (ph).
KING: And where are they -- where was the last time you saw them?
DOMINO: The last time I saw Steve, they were in New Orleans. And that's the last time I heard of them.
KING: Did you...
DOMINO: We don't know where they're at, and we can't find them.
KING: Did you evacuate?
DOMINO: Yes, I did. I evacuated on the first voluntary evacuation.
KING: Do you know why they didn't?
DOMINO: I'm not sure why. I don't know. But I can't get in touch with them. As far as I know, they're still in their house in New Orleans.
KING: And, Cassandra, your mother is missing, right?
CASSANDRA KNAPPER, LOOKING FOR FAMILY: Yes, she is.
KING: When was the last time you saw her?
KNAPPER: The last time I spoke with her was Sunday, and she was mentioning that she was scared. She was in Methodist Hospital in New Orleans East. And she said she had to be moved to another building on another floor, because they was evacuating them from where she was, because of the building being breaking off.
KING: Now, the Red Cross told you they were taking her to the Park Plaza Hotel. Have you called the hotel?
KNAPPER: Yes, I did several times. They're saying that she did triage then, but gave me the information that she was at Park Plaza Medical Center. But they're saying they have no location on her. I have other people telling me that she's in the Astrodome; that they seen her in there. But I seen -- now I can't find her.
KING: I hope we can help you, Kenyatta and Cassandra.
Let's check with John Hill, the National Next of Kin Registry in Wichita.
How can we help find what happened to these peoples' relatives? John? John Hill, do you hear me?
JOHN HILL, NATIONAL NEXT OF KIN REGISTRY: I can hear you, sir.
KING: OK. How can we help these young ladies find their mother and their cousins and the like? HILL: Well, we're encouraging everyone who is a survivor of this disaster to contact the National Next of Kin Registry on our Web site at nokr.org, and register if you're a survivor. We will post that information as quickly as we can receive it.
One of the points that I need to make, and this is very important, we do have emergency contact people on the ground in those affected areas. We're being blocked, I'm told, by several of the organizations that are there. We're asking that those organizations please let our volunteers through, so that we can get people in contact with their families.
KING: Why would you be blocked?
HILL: We're being told that our organization is not being recognized by organizations such as the United Way and other organizations that are in the area.
Another thing that I wanted to point out is that the 1-800 number that's on the screen is a donation point only. If you'd like to contact the NOKR, please register on our Web site. You may also donate on the Web site.
We're probably the only organization right now that is not funded that's being represented here tonight. We are made up completely of volunteers. And it's important that we try to get some money into our organization so that we can bring on a full-time support staff. And we can get the rest of our program into place by getting our emergency vehicles into these affected areas and notifying family members that they're OK.
KING: Cassandra, Kenyatta, we hope we can help. National Next of Kin Registry is www.nokr.org.
Marty Evans, before we check in with Ted Rowlands. Marty Evans, president and CEO of the American Red Cross.
I had some people ask me today, what about people who want -- what if pharmaceutical companies wanted to give needed drugs, antibiotics? How do they do that?
MARTY EVANS, RED CROSS, PRESIDENT/CEO: Well, they can call 1- 800-help-now and be connected to our in-kind donation. And quite frankly, that is being coordinated through the Department of Health and Human Services. But we will be glad to make the interface so that we can get that donation to exactly where it can be used.
Larry, I just wanted to comment, too, that the Red Cross worldwide has been connecting families that have been through disasters, reconnecting them. And we did that in the tsunami, for example. So, we have a Web site set up that is up and running. It's redcross.org, and you can click on "family" linking, or you can call 1-877-loved1s -- L-O-V-E-D, the number 1, S, and register. It's very important that you do that.
And it's a system that, as I say, is up and running now, ready to receive tracing requests.
KING: Ted Rowlands is in Biloxi, Mississippi. Our general friends from the Salvation Army said the move was much better there. Is that true, Ted?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I do think that's true. You can see progress being made here every day that the National Guard is here in force now. But that is going to be a very long time. These homes behind me, there are thousands of them along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In New Orleans, there are hundreds of thousands of them.
I think one thing that people can do to help is to donate their properties if they have an apartment building or if they have a vacation home that it comes up, especially if they're in the south. Let someone come in and live there for an extended period of time, because this is not just going to be a couple of weeks in the Astrodome or a couple of weeks here or there in Texas, it's going to be months and months, possibly years, before some of these families can go back into New Orleans, into a new home.
And they're going to need to be accepted by the American people, I think, in individual homes and properties so that kids can go to school, and they can go have a place that's safe for an extended period of time while they're rebuilding their other life in New Orleans.
KING: Thanks, Ted. That is a great idea.
Nick Macdonald, senior program officer of Mercy Corps, joins us in this hour. He was one of the first responders on the ground in Sri Lanka. He's in Vancouver.
What does Mercy Corps do, Nick? And how can people, who want to help, help you?
NICK MACDONALD, MERCY CORPS: Mercy Corps is an international humanitarian relief development organization. We normally respond around the world in disasters and civil wars. But this is just the kind of disaster that we can't ignore, even though it happens outside of our normal sphere of operations.
We've got people on the ground in the area. We've got partner organizations that we're working with already. And we're looking at how we can best contribute.
Most likely what we'll be doing is some emergency relief in the initial phase, but rapidly moving into how to get these people back to their homes, back into their jobs, how to get children back into school, and how to get some sense of normality, to deal with some of those emotional issues, but also the economic issues.
It's hard to believe looking at the pictures now, but in a couple of weeks these people will be back on their feet, wanting to restart their lives. And that's the biggest contribution we think that we can give through our experience overseas doing this kind of work. And it's donations from ordinary people that drive our ability to respond in these situations.
KING: Mercy Corps is www.mercycorps.com, or 1-800-852-2100.
You kind of do, Nancy, similar work in the medical area, right?
NANCY AOSSEY, PRES/CEO, INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS: Absolutely. And one thing I want to mention is the mental health needs are going to be great. Our experience in Indonesia, in places like Bosnia and Rwanda, Kosovo, is that people, once they go through the initial trauma of what's happened to them and the trauma of being without their loved ones and just trying to survive.
Then the reality really sets in. Their homes are gone. Much of their family is gone. Their lives as they know it is gone.
I was in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, recently. And it really struck me the long road ahead that people have to face. How do they rebuild their lives? And Psycho Social, our mental health program, is a very important part of that, something that my organization will be focusing on.
KING: There will be lots of problems.
AOSSEY: Absolutely lots of problems.
KING: And her organization is the International Medical Corps, and they're www.imcworldwide.org, 800-481-4462.
This is a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE, "How You Can Help." We'll be right back.
KING: Remember, you can go to CNN.com throughout this program for information on any of the agencies and organizations so that you can help.
Joining us on from Houston, Texas, is Alonda McCormick, trying to locate numerous relative who are missing. There is Alonda. She was born and raised in Slidell, Louisiana. Her husband is from New Orleans. They live now in Missouri City, Texas.
You were not evacuated, were you?
ALONDA MCCORMICK, LOOKING FOR FAMILY: No, I wasn't.
KING: Who is missing, Alonda?
MCCORMICK: Right now, I'm still missing my father-in-law, Howard McCormick, Sr., his daughter, Salva Jackson (ph), his son, Arnold McCormick, and also Salva's (ph) entire family is missing. We heard from her initially. She was in a hotel. But then, we got disconnected, and we don't know where she is at this time.
KING: If she was in a hotel, isn't that a pretty good bet she'll be OK?
MCCORMICK: Pretty much, but we're still concerned, because we tried to follow up with all of the family members, and we still can't find her. So, that hotel was hit pretty bad, so we're still concerned.
KING: OK. And you say also, Marty, that the Red Cross can help, as well as the kin organization, the Next of Kin Registry, right?
EVANS: That's exactly right, Larry. If people will call 1-877- loved1s -- L-O-V-E-D, the number 1, S, or go online if they have access to the Internet, go online at redcross.org, and click on "family tracing." We have a whole system set up, and we would love to have everybody registered, not only a family member or a friend who is missing, but also register themselves, so that their friends and family members can find out where they are.
KING: Alonda, we wish you the best of luck. And the National Next of Kin Registry is also www.nokr.org.
Joining us from Raleigh, North Carolina, is my buddy, Clay Aiken. Clay, of course, the multi-platinum recording artist, the 2003 "American Idol" runner-up. He was raised in North Carolina.
And you work with UNICEF a lot. UNICEF does some work internally, do they?
CLAY AIKEN, SINGER: No, actually UNICEF, Larry, is an organization that has a mandate to work outside of the U.S. They work with governments in developing nations, and they do work on projects and governments with developed nations as well when they're asked by the governments. So, they're not necessarily focused in the United States.
KING: So, what are you doing with regard to this tragedy?
AIKEN: Well, you know, I think what's interesting, and obviously I'm like most Americans have been glued to the television for the last few days taking a look at the damage and really feeling somewhat helpless, because I'm not able to be there and help out and to be involved in the clean-up and the rescue process. But one of the things that's really struck me while I've been watching TV is the similarities, and it's hard to draw a comparison obviously, between this and the tsunami.
But I was in Banda Aceh and Lilbo (ph), Indonesia, in March of this year. And it's amazing to look at some of the images on TV this week and see some very similar sights that I saw in Indonesia.
But I guess the thing that has struck me the most are did strike me the most in March when I was in Indonesia was the amount of hope and resilience and just the attitude of recovery and rebuilding that was in Indonesia in March. And I think that a thing that really is resonating with me is the possibility of that here, because the American people were without a doubt the most generous they've ever been when it came to the tsunami. And it's amazing. The American spirit is really amazing. And knowing that that type of help from the American people helped rebuild areas like Indonesia and Sri Lanka and Thailand, and is going to be able to do that here as long as people step up and support in whatever way they can. Obviously, monetarily is the most important right now.
KING: Have you given personally?
AIKEN: Absolutely. You know, I think it's something that I wish I had the time to do, but monetarily really is the way that people -- that's needed right now. We obviously have to trust those organizations, like the Red Cross. Oxfam is an organization that works outside of the U.S., similar to UNICEF, but it's working inside the -- is mandated to work inside America as well. Oxfammaerica.org, you can go to for that.
But those organizations are the ones that we really have to trust to be able to do the work. I've seen the work that UNICEF does elsewhere. And I know that other organizations that work in the United States are able to do that same type of amazing work that UNICEF does, yet do it here.
And so, I think the best thing to do outside of sending -- instead of sending, you know, nonperishable food and clothes right now, we have to be able to trust these people with our money...
AIKEN: ... and donate to that cause that way.
KING: Thank you, Clay Aiken, as always.
AIKEN: Thank you very much, Larry.
KING: By the way, if you missed it earlier, the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, which helps people get heart procedures, donated $25,000.
Kobe Bryant donated $100,000, informed us right before we went on the air. And Jenny Craig gave $1 million and is on her way there.
And as we go to break, here's a little song by Clay Aiken. We'll be right back.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: We're trying to help you help other people in this crisis.
Joining us in New Orleans is Nic Robertson, CNN senior international correspondent. Like Christiane Amanpour, he is usually elsewhere, but he's been stateside for this.
Have you seen things there that you can compare to this, Nic? NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Larry, I've seen things here that definitely compare to some of the situations I've been in. For example, I remember standing on the border with Kosovo watching refugees come out, having lost their homes. I've seen people here leaving the city on trucks tonight, on buses tonight, leaving their homes behind. They don't know when they're going to come back. They're going into a new world, a new life, a life essentially of a refugee, where you have to set up homes somewhere else.
So, yes, there's a lot of things here that are comparable with what I've seen in some of the hot spots around the world -- Larry.
KING: Any thoughts on how people can help other than the obvious -- financial?
ROBERTSON: I think one of the important things is for people who have lost everything here to know that the rest of the people in the country support them. That they hear that coming in, whichever way they can. Financially is obviously important, because people have lost everything.
I talked to a fireman today, Larry, and he said, make sure you tell the people out there that we're so grateful that our families who have been shipped out of the state are being taken care of. He said to me, my family turned up in a town. He said, they told people where they got off the bus that they were the family of a firefighter. He said they were immediately taken into the house.
The firefighters here are still working. Their families are gone out of state. And they say that they're very, very grateful that people are helping their families. And it's tremendously important, they think, for people to know that they can have that kind of support, to reach out to the people when they're in need, because the folks back here working like the firemen, the police and others, it's very important to know that their families are well taken care of, and that's everyone is thinking about them.
KING: Thank you, Nic.
Let's get a caller in. We'll include some calls throughout the next hour-and-a-half. Little Rock, Arkansas, hello. Little Rock, are you there? Well, we don't have Little Rock.
Let's go to Houston, Sam McCullough and Germaine Matthews apparently have some folks missing.
Sam McCullough, who are you looking for?
SAM MCCULLOUGH, JR., DIABETIC FATHER, UNCLE MISSING IN NEW ORLEANS: I'm looking for my father, Sam McCullough, and my uncle, Ralph McCullough. If they're watching right now, they can reach me at 281-280-0609.
KING: Well, when did you last see them?
MCCULLOUGH: I last saw them Sunday night right before I evacuated with my son and my girl.
KING: And they were in New Orleans?
MCCULLOUGH: Yes, they didn't want to leave.
MCCULLOUGH: Some wanted to leave and some didn't, not thinking it wouldn't be OK.
KING: What's that phone number again if they're watching or somebody can reach them?
KING: OK. And, Germaine, who are you looking for?
GERMAINE MATTHEWS, DAUGHTER, SON, GRANDMOTHER, OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS MISSING IN NEW ORLEANS: I'm looking for my daughter and my son. He's Andrell (ph) and Terrell (ph).
KING: How old?
MATTHEWS: Eleven and 4.
KING: How did you separate?
MATTHEWS: They was with their grandma, and my number is 400- 5075.
KING: And they were in New Orleans, too?
KING: Well, how did you get out and they get left?
MATTHEWS: I left with my mama.
KING: And they were with their grandma?
MATTHEWS: They was with their grandma.
KING: Yes. What's that number again, Germaine?
KING: Thank you. We wish you the best.
What is the Salvation Army doing, Major Hood, right now in New Orleans? How can people use you?
MAJOR GEORGE HOOD, SALVATION ARMY, NATIONAL COMMUNITY RELATIONS SECRETARY: Right now, we're sustaining life and making sure that people are well-fed. We're giving them three meals a day, good, clean, safe water, and we're housing people; 150,000 people are living in Salvation Army facilities from Texas all the way across to North Carolina right now. And we are feeding 200,000 people on a daily basis.
So, right now, it's sustaining life, supporting people who have no place to go, and making sure that they stay healthy.
KING: Larry Jones, if someone watching wanted to help Feed The Children, what's the immediate thing they could do?
LARRY JONES, CO-FOUNDER/PRESIDENT, FEED THE CHILDREN: Well, the immediate thing is, Larry, I was thinking about back to the flood of 1993. I had just go through spending two days down in Gulfport. And in the flood of '93, CNN gathered a whole truckload of water from their employees. And so, if you will talk to the employees at CNN, I'll put a truck over at CNN, and we'll bring a whole truckload of water to Gulfport.
Now, the reason I say that, you've got about a million people that we're going to have to give water to for something like three or four months. This is not going to be over the next month, the next two months.
And the other thing I would encourage people to do, we're going to have a massive campaign to help children with school supplies when they get ready to go back to school. We've been doing a lot of work with Office Depot. So, I would encourage people tonight, if they're a corporation or a large business or a large church, if they will get together a truckload of supplies, we'll pick them up and see that they go there.
Go to our Web site, give us a call. We want to partner with people all across America, because this is one of the most tragic things I've even seen. Like others said, they've been to the tsunami. I've been there also. And this is going to take a long, long time.
And the other thing I want to say is this: Many people have already given. This is what I call the "second-mile disaster." We're going to have to give again and maybe the third and the fourth mile. So, I want to say thank you to all of those who have given, but I want to encourage them, give again, because the need is so great.
KING: And if CNN supplies, what, the water, you'll supply the truck?
JONES: I'll supply the truck. We did that in the flood of 1993. And your employees were so great there. And so, if you'll get the water together, I'll get a truck there, and we'll pick it up, and we'll take it to where it's needed the most.
And keep in mind, we're going to have to have drinking water for people for the next three or four months. I'm in Jackson, Mississippi, right now, 180 miles north of Gulfport, and they're having to boil water right here before they can drink it. The need is great all across the South.
So, I would just like to say that to you, thanks for having us on. And I'll put the challenge to the CNN employees, and we'll get a truck there. KING: I'm sure they'll come though, and you'll come to Atlanta and pick them up.
JONES: I sure will.
KING: In fact, they just told us they will do it. We just got the word.
JONES: Thank you.
KING: They'll have the water. They'll contact you Monday or Tuesday. You come and get it.
JONES: We'll be there.
KING: Maybe they'll contact you tomorrow. This is a 24-hour operation.
JONES: They can contact me on my cell phone.
Bob Forney, president and CEO of America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest hunger relief organization.
I would bet a lot of people are hungry here, right, Bob?
BOB FORNEY, PRES./CEO, AMERICA'S SECOND HARVEST HUNGER-RELIEF CHARITY: Absolutely. By the end of this weekend, we'll have more than 250 semis and a few airplane loads of food there.
But I think the important thing to understand is this: That's just this one weekend. We are going to have many, many weeks ahead of us where more food is going to be needed.
So, for large corporate listeners that have access to large quantities of food, please call and let us help.
For small, ordinary people, who are no doubt going to be doing food drives, I want to talk to you for just a quick second. Please do those food drives through your local food bank. Don't do the food drive and send that food to the site. That will complicate matters dramatically. There may be a time later where that happens.
I also want to point out that all of the funds that are earmarked to America's Second Harvest for disaster, every cent on every dollar will go directly to the disaster. I want to make sure that people understand they can trust us and the other organizations to do the job that they want us to do.
KING: America's Second Harvest is www.secondharvest.org, or 877- 817-2307.
FORNEY: Thank you.
KING: Harry Connick, Jr., a native of New Orleans, a great entertainer, his father was district attorney of New Orleans, is next. And in a while, Celine Dion. Don't go away.
KING: (AUDIO GAP) know him a long time. I know his father, too. Harry Connick, Jr., great actor, great singer, musician, born and raised in New Orleans.
First of all, what's the state of your immediate family, Harry?
HARRY CONNICK, JR., NEW ORLEANS NATIVE: Everybody is fine, Larry. My dad is fine, and my aunts and uncles and cousins, everybody is cool. I have to say this before you ask any questions. I made a comment yesterday regarding Mayor Ray Nagin's not being in New Orleans, that he had gone to Baton Rouge. I responded to a rumor. He's in New Orleans. He did not abandon his ship. And I'm going to New Orleans tomorrow, and I plan to get to him.
I talked to his press secretary today. He did not leave. Apparently, his office was set up in Baton Rouge. But he didn't leave, and I'm very, very sorry. And it just goes to show you, you can't follow the rumors.
KING: What's your heart like when you see all you've seen about your city?
CONNICK: I was doing a special last night, and I saw Erin Nebles (ph) sing a song. And I'm not a big crier, and I was a big crier last night. Larry, it is so sad. It's the saddest thing I've ever seen in my life.
If I can just beg people to -- the crisis, you know, the Red Cross is doing so much. I have to ask people if they can send checks also to Habitat For Humanity. After the crisis is over, it's going to take a long time to rebuild. And Habitat for Humanity, I built a house with them called Harry's House on Music Street, which is now gone. A lot of celebrities have called me. I found out. I'm a big fan of his. I can't believe it. Russell Crowe called and said, "What can I do?" We're going to call you, Russell. We're going to call all of these people, because we want each of you to be involved in building a house.
You can go to habitat.org, and send a check. And we're going to try to get some more houses built and rebuild our beautiful city.
KING: A Habitat person is with us tonight, by the way. He's been on throughout the show, and it's been great having him here. And, in fact, I'm going to check back with him.
Jonathan Reckford, did you hear what Harry had to say?
JONATHAN RECKFORD, HABITAT FOR HUMANITY PASTORAL LEADER: I did. And we are so grateful. We couldn't agree more.
And if I may, Larry, I'd like to share a letter from another famous American, who has been a huge supporter. President Carter sent me a letter today that I'd like to read. "In all my years as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, I cannot think of a more important program than Habitat's Operation Home Delivery. Hurricane Katrina may be second only to the Asian tsunami in the amount of devastation, destruction and human suffering. And just as with the tsunami, unprecedented destruction and suffering calls for an outpouring of generous response. Habitat for Humanity is in a unique position to provide long-term housing solutions for victims of this storm. After their immediate needs of food, clothing and temporary shelter have been met, Habitat's Operation Home Delivery will be working with churches, corporations, volunteers and other partners to get people back in homes and back on their feet. When pledging support for the victims of this terrible disaster, I hope people in the United States and around the world will consider both the immediate needs and long-term solutions offered by Habitat for Humanity and other organizations. Jimmy Carter."
KING: Enough said.
RECKFORD: Larry, we're going to pilot that long-term solution in Jackson, Mississippi, by the end of the month.
KING: Good hearing it.
Harry, we have a picture of you in New Orleans. And we're going to put it up on the screen. What was the occasion here?
CONNICK: That woman was born in New Orleans, and she's outside the Convention Center. She's dead. And that woman was born a long time ago, and she died on the street like an animal essentially. And you can see a white sheet. That's another dead body there. And this is the United States. You know, this is New Orleans. And I put my hand on that woman's arm, and I prayed. I said she's going to earn a high place in heaven, you know.
I don't -- I'm not equipped to do this. I'm not a professional. I'm not trained in this. I just -- all I could do was touch her arm and look at her beautiful, brown skin and thank God that, you know, some help was finally coming for these people, Larry, because it's just -- it's almost unbelievable. I can't even think of words to articulate it.
KING: How is your dad doing?
CONNICK: My dad is fine. He's doing great. We were worried about him, because he actually went up to Mississippi to avoid the storm. And the eye of the storm passed right over where he was. But he got out all right. And everybody is cool. There are a few cousins...
KING: Where were you?
CONNICK: I was in New York when all of this happened. It's the strangest thing, Larry. How much time do we have? Do we have 30 more seconds?
KING: Oh, yes, we're got a couple of minutes, and then I'm going to break, and then you're going to sing.
CONNICK: Well, I've just to tell you this real quick. I had taken my two oldest daughters, Georgia and Kate, to my Aunt Jessie's (ph) house Saturday, because we had picked some pears, and I wanted them to be with Aunt Jessie (ph), because Aunt Jessie (ph) makes great pie. She's a great cook. And we were in her kitchen, you know, making this pie. And it was such a beautiful thing to see my Aunt Jessie (ph). And she said, "Harry, I can't believe these little girls are calling you 'dad.'" And then the hurricane hit. And the next thing I know, they're being air boated out of their house, you know, walking down I-10.
So, my Aunt Jessie (ph) is my father's sister, and my Uncle John, another incredible story. I've got to tell you this. Charles Nebel (ph), one of the Nebel (ph) brothers, I've known him for a long, long time. His daughter, Sharmaine (ph), is a great singer. I used to be in a band with her. There were a bunch of sick people and old people in her neighborhood. She went out and saw an abandoned city bus. She took that bus and loaded those people on that bus and got those people out of there.
And I'm thinking, if Sharmaine Nebel (ph) can get on a bus and drive a bus out with sick people, you know, well, we can't get a barge to park back up on the Mississippi behind the Convention Center and get these people out? Thank God they're finally getting out. I don't know what I'm going to do down there tomorrow, but I'm going to, you know, load water or whatever I can do.
But I'm begging people at this point, if you've never sent money in for a telethon, now is the time to do it.
KING: I was going to ask what you're doing personally. You're going there yourself to aid as well.
CONNICK: I don't know what I'm going to do. If I can find a boat, get on a boat and pull somebody out of their house, if I can, you know, bring some water to somebody, if I can just be a presence to some people, to show them that they haven't been forgotten about. Man, there's a lot of people still down there. It's insane. A lot of these people just could not get out on their house. Maybe they didn't have the money, didn't have the transportation or the means. Anything I can do, Larry. I don't know what it's going to be.
KING: Do you think...
CONNICK: Go ahead.
KING: Do you think your city can ever by New Orleans again?
CONNICK: Anybody that has ever been in New Orleans, if you can survive a Saints game for three hours in the Superdome, you can survive this. We're going to make it through this, Larry. And we are going to pull through, and we're going to pull through strong. They're strong, wonderful, good people.
When I went to the Convention Center, I didn't know whether I was going to get kicked or shot or anything. You know, it's not like that. These people wanted some water. They wanted something to eat. They wanted a diaper for their baby. These are good people down there. They talk like me. They have my accent. You know, you don't expect to hear somebody in a crisis going, hey, Harry, where are you at? That shouldn't happen here. You see...
KING: No, they are great people.
CONNICK: They are great people. Anyway, I was just...
KING: I was King of Dacaus (ph) four years ago. I never had a bigger thrill than going down that street with that outfit and all of those people with the balloons and...
CONNICK: It's an amazing thing.
KING: There's no city like it.
CONNICK: There is no city like it, and we will come back from it. And, again, you know, if people are sending their money to the Red Cross, also consider Habitat For Humanity, because the rebuilding process essentially I think will really come...
KING: I'm going to...
CONNICK: ... in a large part from them.
KING: I'm going to get a break. And when we come back, you and the band are going to -- what are you going to sing?
CONNICK: I'm going to sing "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans." It's a sad time, but it's also a time for people to remember why they come to New Orleans and visit. It's a great city, and we're going to celebrate some of our uplifting music with you.
KING: One of my all-time favorite tunes. When we come back, Harry Connick and the group will do "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans." Don't go away.
KING: We're about to complete hour number two of "How You Can Help," this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE being simulcast on CNN International and CNN Radio. And you can log on anytime during the show for information to CNN.com.
Here as promised is the great Harry Connick, Jr., and the band and the great "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans." Enjoy.
KING: Welcome back to the third hour of this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE, and we are calling it "How You Can Help." We hope we've helped you help learn how to help others throughout the past two hours. We'll continue to do it in hour number three.
We're being simulcast on CNN International and Radio. For information on "How You Can Help," all of the organizations that we're talking about tonight and many more, just log on to CNN.com. And we are talking in this hour with our regular panel of Marty Evans and Jonathan Reckford and Major George Hood and Bob Forney, John Hill and Nancy Aossey and Larry Jones of all of these wonderful organizations that are there to help you help others.
This just in: President Bush, Sr., and former President Clinton will be touring Houston on Monday. President Bush, Sr., will join us Monday night. Their Web site is www.bushclintonkatrinafund.org. And former President Bush will be our special guest on Monday night, Labor Day night.
Right now, we're going to turn it over in Los Angeles to the first lady of the state of California, our compatriot, Maria Shriver. She is at the American Red Cross building in California.
Maria, what's happening there?
MARIA SHRIVER, FIRST LADY OF CALIFORNIA: Well, Larry, thank you for having us here. There are a lot of people volunteering here at the Red Cross center.
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