“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

Monday, June 2, 2008

Please Stop! For Five Minutes

Do you skim by here and glance at what is posted and keep going? Does this seem too far removed from you to care? Read the poem on the sidebar. It could be you. Never say never. Have you ever looked away from a homeless person, ashamed and embarrassed for him? How close are you to being homeless? If you missed one paycheck, could you survive? What if you missed two? How far away from poverty are you?

With gas prices rising and food a close second in expense, do you think of a hungry child who does not know what it is like to walk into a store and buy what it needed to survive one more day? You eat most things because they taste good. We are an obese nation filling our pie holes with junk, never thinking about those who have huge bellies, not from over stuffing but from not eating at all.

We whine as a nation about rising prices and believe me it is with grave concern that we do it. How rich we are that we can buy even a pack of bologna for our lunch.

Imagine if you ate at most once a day. Try to feel your belly not just pinching with hunger, but a gnawing aching hunger. For a small bowl of chad, a type of grain that is cooked onto a thick porridge like meal.

How much food is not eaten at your table. Americans have the attitude that they can just buy more. Not a problem. Look at your daily habits. I know you say you cannot send any money to charities like UNICEF, Amnesty USA and IRC. You can just make ends meet. Am I right?

Look very hard at that piece of bread with one bite gone that is being thrown away. Look at the milk that is going down your drain, just a couple of swallows, right? Now put a monetary figure on what you throw away every day. Buy less. So simple. Eat only what you can eat. The money you are saving may only be five dollars. I wish every family in the world would give just five dollars. What a difference we could make.
Did you catch that? We.

Please, please take just 5 minutes out of your busy day and visit these sites. Please take 5 minutes to sign and send a letter to your Congressman, five minutes to give a little of yourself. 5 minutes to see what these fine organizations are doing to make a difference in someone’s life. 5 minutes to show that you care.



Relax Max said...

I like your post. Instead of general pleading, you are giving people something specific to do, to put up or shut up. This is better than simply saying "please help". I clicked on your links, and I know others will as well. I also think, though, that we have to come up with a novel way for people to donate money instead of just asking them to send money in. Like you say, they don't feel they can afford it or they think it will be wasted. I think we should think up some way people can do things that will produce money for a specific cause. Maybe I wouldn't dig into my pocket and send in $100, but I would be willing to work a Saturday morning evey month and have my labor money paid to the charity. That way nobody has an excuse. I don't know exactly how that would work yet, but simply asking people to send in more money (when they already probably do) is getting tiresome for some folks. Working is something they can take action and feel good about. Just sayin'. Food for thought.

Relax Max said...

I am not discounting your idea for people to buy less food. I just don't think they will be able to see the savings in dollars and cents and be disciplined to put that savings in a charity jar and send it in. They will just spend the food savings on something else, and not be able to tell you where went. So give them the opportunity to donate their labor, or their expertise, or some crafts they made. This is what the Ladies Auxilliaries at hospitals do. So can we. Fund raisers, but continual and viral fund raisers.

Anonymous said...

Great post.

To follow on from what Max is saying about how to persuade people to contribute, the reason I like Kiva is that you make a contribution and you are paid back. That way you can then re-lend the money. It could appeal to more people than just a straight donation.

Another way: I fill in online surveys and the payments can be sent to charities. I've just sent £15 to Oxfam. A drop in the ocean but better than nothing. The ones I do are UK based but I'm sure there are similar ones in the US or elsewhere.

ettarose said...

Both of you have great ideas. Is there someplace that will send your sweat equity to charity? I will look that up. My Grandmother years ago knitted all the time. She made little booty type shoes and hats to match. She donated everything she made to the Navajos in Arizona. You can imagine our pride to see a picture in an Arizona Highways magazine of Navajo Indian children with those little shoes and hats on. Felt good.

Lee said...

Mitch, this is an excellent post. And you are right, we have so many excuses for why we don't contribute that are not legitimate. My wife and I don't give huge amounts, but we do little things. And it can be as simple as donating usable clothing/appliances to Goodwill Industries. Another way to donate, without touching your wallet, is to give a few hours a month to help in a food bank, or a soup kitchen. You are still helping those in need, but it won't take a dime out of your pocket.

mitch said...

Lee, thank you for stopping in. I hope you found it inspiring. I agree with your words. We can help in so many ways.


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