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It's been two years since the earthquake that wreaked havoc on what was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Billions of dollars have been pledged (although reports indicate that less than half a billion has actually been distributed) to the nation of Haiti. But still, an estimated half million people homeless or living in tents, facing the daily risk of cholera, hunger, assault, sexual trafficking, and many more evils than you and I can fathom. Kathy McCullough, who spent time in Haiti after the earthquake, does a wonderful job of painting a picture in her blog today, The Haiti Earthquake's 2 Year Anniversary.
As for me, today on this 2nd anniversary, I'm stuck on one of the questions from my post yesterday, "Your Turn!" The question was whether you prefer investing in "band aids" or "solutions." I understand the desire to see something immediate. I have that instinct myself. I see something awful, I want to do something quickly and immediately to change it, even if that means something that is temporary. Like providing a meal to someone without. A solution to a belly that is hungry now, but in the long run, what does it do to alleviate the root cause?
That's one reason working for ULC is an exercise against my nature, because ULC does not focus on "band aids" but rather on long-term solutions to the problems facing Haiti. Sometimes I struggle with this because, while it feels great to deliver 25,000 books to establish a centre, it also frustrates me that the centre doesn't just immediately start humming with hordes of visitors and dozens of activities for the community.
What I remind myself of everyday is that it takes time, money, and above all commitment from people who are not always naturally inclined to invest in long-term solutions that show less "bang" at the onset, but of course, people who always want to get "bang for the buck." ULC will never be successful at offering activities for local children, workshops for local professionals, or resources for local teachers and healthcare workers if we spend our time, money and effort on "band aids." A band aid cannot stop a hemorrhaging wound. What ULC does is to offer educational resources that will have a ripple effect in ways that may not be immediately obvious, but will have an impact for generations to follow.
After the 15 questions from yesterday, I ask you one simple question today. Do you have a dollar? That's what it costs us to ship a book to Ouanaminthe. The books we were awarded from the Parliament Foundation of Quebec (all in French, which is why we can't generally accept books from American sources) will cost us $25,000. That may sound exorbitant, but it's actually competitive. The first shipment, to Pilate, we split the costs. Now, the Parliament Foundation has begun to receive so many requests for books from across the world that they have changed their policy and no longer fund shipping. So, to get the books they've committed to Ouanaminthe by July, we need to raise $25,000 now.
I'm not the best at asking for help, actually I'm horrible at it. And I'm even less comfortable asking for money. But I ask you this: do you have a dollar? That's all I ask. If the answer is yes, please click here to be directed to our website where you can make a donation online.
If not, do you have a garage or attic full of unwanted items? Or a closet full of clothes you don't wear? If so, please contact me about hosting a small fundraiser for us. It's as easy as a one time, weekend yard sale or a trip to the local consignment shop. For more ideas on how to support ULC, please check out our posts from several months ago, Guerrilla Fundraising! and Guerrilla Fundraising, Part 2 .
Your gift will touch the lives of many, and will have an impact that will outlast you and me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
|Mise à jour le Jeudi, 12 Janvier 2012 20:46|
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- Upcoming Trip to Haiti to Result in Two New Libraries
- Layers of Learning at ULC
- 18,000 Books Heading to Haiti
- Facebook Interactions
- Confessions of a Book-aholic…. and a Top 10 List
- The Many Faces of Haiti
- Pointed Questions Welcome!
- Book for Your Buck
- Your Turn!
- ULC's Essential Questions for 2012
- Blog, Guilt & a Guesthouse
- Taken for Granted
- Kreyol Ayisyen
- Haitian Coffee Snob
- A Loaded Question by Michelle Lemenager
- Haiti Smiles by Chris Barnicle
- Teach Without Materials?!
Écrit par Dana Jean
Jeudi, 12 Janvier 2012 20:40