In a few days, adorable little humans all over the U.S. are going to wander door-to-door
begging, as my parents derisively referred to trick or treating for Halloween. Along with torturously sour candy and milk chocolate-coated sugar, some of those costumed tykes will be looking for money.
It’s true; after screeching their customary greeting requesting candy bribes while exhorting you to “smell (their) feet” and give them something good to eat, some of the more earnest Princesses and Vampires will carefully navigate the following schpiel– can you hear them now, angelic voices pronouncing
30Â¢ provides lifesaving antibiotics for a child suffering from pneumonia.
$1 immunizes a child against the deadly disease measles.
$2.50 buys basic school supplies for one child.
$10 provides enough high-protein biscuits to feed three hungry children for one month.
$150 pays for a small well to provide clean water for an entire village.
They learned all of those stats from UNICEF, who has sponsored the charitable Halloween program “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF” for 55 years.
When first graders are going to canvas their ‘hoods for charity, when victims of the South Asian Tsunami are giving after losing almost everything, when nearly every person who is reading this can afford to do even more than the two groups I just mentioned in this sentence, then yes, we have no excuse.
I wrote that accusatory sentence a few days ago, as I posted about those selfless Tsunami-survivors who are sending supplies to people who have been devastated by the earthquake. I asked, “What if we could do good?”, specifically in the context of blogging as a way to encourage fundraising, since we had all come together in a breath-taking, powerful way to stand up for truth, freedom and justice. Could we also unite to fight apathy? Disaster fatigue? Inertia?
I think we can.
Thankfully, people with more energy than me seized my flicker of an idea and ran with it. They heard the tentative call I put out after a fold. And they are doing good.
DesiPundit, predictably, is at the center of this movement. Sepoy at Chapathi Mystery was a pioneer when it came to quake relief. Even Instapundit, the big, bad, brand-name blog I quoted, along with TTLB, picked up on Blog Quake Day.
Now, it is our turn and after you read this, it is your turn. Today is Blog Quake Day. Do something. Give. Write. Post. Comment. Link. Give some more. Think. Do. Tag (“Blog Quake Day”). Buy a shirt:http://ox.he.net/cgi-bin/suid/~sepiam/mt.cgi?__mode=start_upload&blog_id=1
Or, design your own and sell it, to raise funds. I don’t care what you do, as long as you DO. I’m not going to tell you whom to donate to, just do it. If you need a list, look here. Personally, I trust the newly expatriated-from-Pakistan Sin ; his recommendations are here. My point is, don’t get bogged down in the “Oh yes, that would be good, I’ll make sure I put that on my to-do list.” Please, give. TODAY.
The weatherman just exclaimed about snow in Washington– in October, oh my! He mock-pouted about a spooky-cold Halloween, as if this were a serious calamity; I don’t hold it against him, he’s just doing his job. But I start to realize…snow in October be damned, how nice it is to be me, as I sit in this luxurious high-rise, cossetted from the elements, blessed with hearth and health. How lucky for him, as he mugs for the camera, inside his intact studio. How lucky for the children who live in this, the most powerful city on earth, that their homes still exist, that they will have shelter to run back to after their nocturnal merry-making on Monday night. How unlike their counterparts on the other side of the world in Kashmir, hell, in THIS part of the world, down South where Marie Laveau and beignets are just TWO reasons why we have to rebuild New Orleans.
The world has been wracked with so many disasters in the last few months, we’re all a little traumatized from what we see, 24 hours a day via digital cable on our flat screens. It’s okay that we are a little stunned, and thus, a little slow to act. It’s okay that the reason we are stunned is because we can toss $140 a month at sucky-assed Comcast, so that those horrific, oft-repeated images can numb us on our multi-thousand dollar
toys TVs. It’s not okay if we take this for granted, and if we don’t give to people who shiver on the other side of the world, homeless, hopeless and seemingly forgotten. I do not want to read another bullshit comment thread about “I’m not going to give, b/c you can give, not me, and besides, I don’t see anyone here giving up their Banana Republic flat-front-trousers and moping about in sackcloth and ashes after giving everything they owned to the poor.” That masturbatory declaration accomplishes NOTHING. Know what DOES accomplish something? Clicking a link and donating, burlap sack and ashes totally optional.
It’s great that we stood up for free speech and against shady schools and the shitty people who run them; it would be a damning indictment of our priorities if we didn’t ALSO stand up for innocent human beings who are stranded amid rocks, in almost impossible to reach areas, as the rain insults them after the earth we take for granted injured them so severely. But we aren’t that callous, lazy or selfish. I know the capacity for generosity which exists in this community; I saw it when we needed help paying for this site, I continue to see it at every Meetup I’m blessed enough to attend. There is so much good here, let’s send some back where we all came from.
Thank you Kush, Sunil and Oodles, Christy, yasmine , chai, zimblymallu at dippu.com (who has promised ONE DOLLAR for every comment left on the post at that link…talk about love), enivhsay, Ads and Saheli for blogging about this. Keep writing the good fight.
an extra special thank you to MP, who wrote me personally yesterday, to prove my pollyanna-ism right, who gave so much (and continues to give!) but did not want to draw attention to it by writing, linking or commenting. you, my beloved, maple-sugar-sweet, hindu friend, are a better christian than all the church-goers i know.