[Dane County social workers Rita] Adair and her partner in this rescue effort, Jenny Grether, rode in the back of the quiet bus, fielding calls from volunteers with questions and making plans for the return to Madison, expected to be some time this afternoon.
Grether reflected on her hopes for the group.
"Most importantly, that people can find a sense of happiness, peace and hope within their families. Hopefully they'll be able to connect with one another in a way they haven't been able to at shelters. For the single men, who have lost everything, I hope they'll be able to connect to a neighborhood and a larger community that is willing to try to support and understands what needs to happen to rebuild lives."
Adair said the effort, while worthwhile, has been difficult because she doesn't want to let anyone down - neither those in need nor their supporters in Madison.
"So many people gave so much in so many ways, that that became a vehicle of what I am expected to do," she said. "It's an overwhelming expectation that I feel."
How many stories like this are there all over the country? What an unusual situation to break up a large urban community and have very small segments of it welcomed into communities all over the country, into places that are much different from New Orleans. It can't be easy for people to leave home and come to a new place, even when the people in the new place are full of altruism and eagerness to help. Thanks to the good people who make great efforts to help tiny groups of Katrina evacuees like this.