Read Matthew McConaughey's exclusive journal
September 6, 2005 Leaving Burbank, CA

Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast...a natural disaster leaving everyone in shock...a day later the levees that protected the crescent city of New Orleans from the water that surrounds it on three sides collapsed, and the city began to flood....

Watching this on TV, the water was rising in time with the chaos, the question marks accumulating as the massive scale of these events turned catastrophic...I, like everyone, was trying to comprehend the situation, and I felt the need to do something, but what?

My assistant and my publicist got online, researching what was being organized. I got on the phone calling friends in southern Louisiana, calling government officials in my state of Texas, calling heads of major networks...I was looking for something to do "on location"...down here in the areas that are affected...Everyone I talked to was taking action in some way but I still hadn't found a practical way to serve in a "hands on" way....

After 5 hours of researching, my publicist called and said, "I've talked to some producers at the Oprah Show and they are looking for people who want to get 'down and dirty' ...The next morning I was on a plane with a camera and sound crew on our way from Burbank to Baton Rouge. The plan was not defined, but the ball was rolling, we were on our way "forward", we were headed to the Gulf Coast....

We landed, the airport was more than busy, it was an organized circus...That's when a red Suburban pulled up and out jumped...

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