Wow. When it rains, it pours. Or in the case of people living in the Philippines...it devastates. Typhoon Ketsana has affected hundreds of thousands of Filipino families, leaving countless children without shelter, food, clean water, and in many cases, their parents.
Then a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia, and the death toll keeps going up. And a major tsunami in Samoa too? Flattening villages and killing probably hundreds? That's just way too much bad stuff happening at the same time.
When headlines like this pop into our lives, it's easy to say, "Oh, that's awful," and then go back to IM'ing our friend about how our crush smiled at us today. After all, these countries are half a world away, and the numbers of dead, injured, and homeless...well, they can just seem like numbers. With tragedies so huge, it's also normal to feel that there's no way you, as one single person, can help.
But what if you could help? What if it were easy? What if it weren't easy but still totally worth it? Here are some ways to reach out across cultures and all those gajillions of miles and actually do something:
- Stay current on news about the recent natural disasters on websites like www.unicef.org. Share your knowledge with friends and family. The very least we can all do is be aware of what's happening.
- Donate your own money. Look at what you have saved up. Can you spare $10? Then encourage family members to follow your example and collect "pledges" to create a lump donation to relief efforts (even if it's a small one, more like a glob). Websites like www.unicef.org, www.redcross.org, and www.greatergood.org all collect donations for disaster relief efforts.
- Do something fun with friends that will raise a little money. A lemonade stand, a garage sale, things like that. Make a Saturday out of it and you'll be surprised at what a good time you'll have. Read more of IML's tips for fundraising.
- Find out if your church, temple, or community center is organizing relief efforts and ask how you can help. Someone might be collecting money, clothes, supplies, etc. to send overseas.
Other links that you can check out:
Yeah, whatever you do might be small, just a drop in a ginormous bucket. It might only help one person. But to that one person, you are a hero. And regardless of the results, you'll feel fantastic doing it!