Thursday, January 14, 2010
Haitian Relief, New Work, New Plans
There were some good comments about donations and relief funds left yesterday (thank you!) and I agree that cash is what is desperately needed to help the earthquake survivors in Haiti. But the more I observe this situation unfolding, the more I realize that the need there in Haiti, while great now, will not be solved by just sending emergency funding today. The entire city and the lives of many people need to be rebuilt. So I've decided that for the next month (30 days,) as an experiment, I'm just going to set aside 10% of the selling price for every piece that I sell from my Etsy or Artfire shops, gather it together, and donate it to the charity most appropriate to help Haiti after a month. What I mean by appropriate is, right now, my family put cash donations together for Red Cross and for Doctors Without Borders as immediate, emergency services, including medical care, are what is most needed right now. In a month, what will the burning need be as folks struggle to rebuild their lives and their city? Time will tell, but for this first stage, time is running out to help folks trapped in collapsed structures. It's just a heart wrenching situation.
At first, I was thinking about setting aside specific pieces tagged to sell for Haitian relief, and next, I was thinking about doing a series of work just for this fund raising purpose. But I got cold feet for either of these choices when it occurred to me that I really want to help raise some money, but I am the worst person at guessing what folks like and will actually buy from my shops. So since the customer always knows best, I eventually decided that just dedicating a set percentage for charitable giving was the best way to go! And if I have good fortune in these weeks leading up to Valentine's day, like I did last year, then I may be able to pull together a decent donation. So I'll begin on Saturday, January 16 because that is my next Etsy Showcase...and eventually, I'll post my final results here. I feel a little better already....doing something: the antidote to helplessness.