Every time a huge natural disaster has hit the planet since Katrina, I've done my best to ignore it. I can't even name them, because I didn't pay enough attention. I know there was a Tsunami, but I can't, in all honesty, tell you exactly what countries were effected without looking it up. It was just too overwhelming and painful for me to follow the news about the families torn apart, building collapsed, the phones that keep ringing with no answer, the pictures of children lost in the destruction. One would think that someone from New Orleans who experienced Katrina would have learned not to turn away, but I haven't. I was too wrapped up in my own experiences of disaster to try to do something about the next one.
I know how ridiculous it is to say that it's too painful for me to watch all the pain that these other people are going through. But it's a choice I make all the time, choosing to protect my own blissful ignorance over realizing the actual state of the world.
I know this post should end with something like, well, now I have changed, and I know I will pay close attention and do my best to do whatever I can whenever there is a catastrophic disaster anywhere in the world---and you should too! But I know that's not true. What I do know is, this modern world makes it dramatically easier to do something, just a little something, for other people. The US state department reported: "For those interesting in helping immediately, simply text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill."
I think that's amazing. It's so easy and convenient! I know it's not enough, that I'm not doing all I possibly could, but luckily, helping those in need isn't an all or nothing game. Sometimes, it's okay to be selfish, to read the comics over the news and spend your money getting your nails done. But at other times, when disaster strikes, it can be best just do a little part. Because if there is one thing I did learn from Katrina, it's that there's nothing as comforting as knowing there are people that don't even know you that care, even a little bit, about you.
So go ahead, send a text message! Or click here to Like a Whisper to get a low down on all the other charities you could donate to.