Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? I realized as I was driving home tonight that after putting up my rather sparkling and witty post about the upcoming Newbery awards that there is another topic out there that is much more important.
Here in the US and Canada, we are incredibly, incredibly blessed. We live in one of the richest, healthiest countries in the world, and our quality of life is incredibly high (doesn't matter if it's the US or Canada). And I can gripe all I want about some of the problems in my life, about what I can't afford to buy or where I can afford to go, or what I am able to do, but when it comes right down to it, I have it easy. Regardless of how poor I feel sometimes (and believe me, there are days), I have never truly lacked for anything. I have always had food in my cupboard, clothes on my body, and a roof over my head. Even with the economy falling apart like it has, I have never truly worried about how I was going to pay for groceries, or where I was going to sleep at night. And I know that a lot of you can say the same. We are blessed -- truly, incredibly blessed.
Since Tuesday's horrible news, I've been thinking about ways to make a difference. The situation in Port-au-Prince is NOT GOOD. Orphanages and hospitals are among the buildings that have been destroyed. Doctors and emergency personel are among the dead. Officials estimate that casualties are possibly in the tens of thousands. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in North America to begin with, and the people there need our aid desperately.
So I'm putting out a call for help. I know that a lot of us put aside some money each month for little luxuries -- whatever they are. The next time you find yourself pulling out your wallet, ask yourself, Do I really need this? Is this an actual necessity that I absolutely MUST HAVE in order to survive? Starbucks/Tim Hortons is not a necessity (I'm not saying coffee -- I'm saying expensive or fancy coffee). Yarn is not a necessity. Books (sob) are not necessities. That dinner out? A fifth pair of shoes? That fancy haircut and dye job? Seeing Sherlock Holmes, It's Complicated, Leap Year, or whatever other new flick that just hit the theatres? NOT NECESSITIES. And at the end of the next week or two, whatever money you save, could you send it on to someone whose home just got destroyed? Here are some places where you can share some of the love:
Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers in the U.S. and international (a word about this? if you give to this one, could you please e-mail Stephanie and let her know how much you gave? She's keeping a running total.)
The Red Cross in the U.S. and abroad
Haitian Health Foundation
Haitian consulate in Washington and in Montreal
I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I know we have it in ourselves to do so much good in the world. We are so incredibly fortunate. Let us give to those who are not.