Patti Edmon Altered Attic: Bloggers Unite for Haiti

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bloggers Unite for Haiti

I wish I could call myself an activist, striving for social justice and reform... but I can't, it wouldn't be true. I'm so weary of the political landscape, the Republican barbs and Democratic mixed messages, that I don't even keep up with current affairs the way I should. I mean, isn't that what we are supposed to do as citizens with voting rights that are enviable in many parts of the world? I am guilty, one of those who feel like one small, solo voice that, no matter how loudly I cry would not reach beyond these four walls.

But when I saw the Bloggers Unite for Haiti campaign, a graphic that I could post along with this message and links to various ways to help, I signed on. What prompted me was a photograph on the front page of our newspaper, of a young girl sitting at her brother's feet, the rest of his body crushed by the school they had been attending. Her expression wrenched my heart... the grief on her face so vivid I might have reached out and touched the tears on her cheek.

I also read an AP article that covered the social media aspect of creating awareness on a larger scale, about celebrities leveraging their 'brands' to encourage donations. Haitian American singer/producer Wyclef Jean put the word out on Twitter and raised more than $1 million in one day." Wow. I wish I could do that, though I'm not certain that I'd do well living in the fishbowl with the celebrities and politicians and powerful people whose lives are scrutinized to the point of absurdity.

According to the article - "Some activists have criticized this use of online resources.... 'slacktivism,' a way for overly connected couch potatoes to shift the money they might spend on a Starbucks latte to a charitable cause with no sweat required. But in the case of Haiti relief, such efforts allowed charities to raise much-needed funds quickly."

So I guess in this case it's OK. I shook my head when I read that, I mean, could that be a case of fund-envy? Should Wyclef Jean instead be putting together a crew and heading down to volunteer in Haiti instead of sending massive amounts of aid? If I sold every piece of art I ever made it obviously wouldn't approach the celebrity level. Mission is an enormous priority at our church (Maxwell Street Presbyterian). Several groups went to New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina; I haven't heard any news about a trip to Haiti but if they go I won't be with them. I offer what I can - financial support and my time/talents for photography, writing and strategic planning. So I guess I fall into the category of 'slactivist.'

Today is the day that those of us who signed on are to post about Bloggers supporting those devastated by the earthquake in Haiti. How many people will read this... ten? twenty? But I am an activist in my heart and I believe that love is a verb; I do what I am able to and I'll have to be content with that for now.


Woody Berry said...

We are all gifted in different ways... therefore our responses to others in need will necessarily be different, based upon our ability... The immediate need in Haiti seems to be money for the resources of food and medicine and makeshift housing, so hallelujah for those who are gifted with money and are willing to share that gift! There will be time later for those who are able to go to Haiti to build new houses and new water systems. I'm just happy today for bloggers who are activists reaching a particular group of people with who-knows-what skills and encouraging them to give as they are able. And I'm especially thankful for one blogger who, with a delightful choice of words, reminds me and others that love is a verb.. so love today!

Jill Zaheer said...

Wonderful post about a disaster of larger than life proportions. There will be a steady need for money, resources and volunteers for many years to come. People shouldn't feel that the window is closed to be giving in what ever form they can.

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for this post, sweets. i didn't know if this previously. i did, however, try to buy a plane ticket to haiti the moment i heard of the devastation there, which was pretty dumb rally as i'm poor and found that flights are suspended from the US for now. instead, i made donation because no matter how poor we are, we're infinitely better off than they are right now. it's so heartbreaking -- i heard on the radio this morning that there are hundreds of orphans there now and they are trying to find homes for them anywhere in the world that they can. just wish i could do more as a tiny individual person in this great big world.

Kristyn Disponette said...

Loved the post! Every little bit counts - one person's words, another person's money, yet another's time...I think it's pretty amazing the way people rally (and have rallied yet again in time of need).

Anonymous said...

Some of us help others by going, and some help others by sending. Either way we can take action and reach out in love to share, give and do what we can for others with various degrees of need.

Patti, I appreciate what you send out. You share through your writing, art and photography - often I find them a timely source of wisdom, insight, humour and encouragement.

I live literally on the other side of the world from you, so never doubt your voice is far reaching, it is definitely heard well beyond your four walls!

So, I'm going to take action too, to speak up and thank you for making a difference with the unique and faithful contribution of your time and talents :)

Elizabeth Golden said...

I don't think it matters how or when you help just as long as you do help. This is a nation that has needed help for a long time. The earthquake just made the world aware of their plight. It is despair beyond words. I know that the situation in Haiti sure makes you take a second look at what is really important in life. It is so good of you to post and keep the plight in the public eye. Thank you.

Sherry said...

just wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting

I've really enjoyed following your blog ~ Sherry

Ragamuffin Gal said...

Hey Gal ~
I love your heart! There is another opportunity to help with an art auction. There is a link on my blog's side bar if you'd like to check it out! Blessings!

Joanie said...

I too believe that every little bit counts....each of us contribute in our own ways...
My heart goes out to the survivors and sorrow to those that passed...hopefully some day they will find peace. Their suffering is so unlike ours here in the's really unimaginable!

Our kids at school have set up a $ donation fundraiser and are also participating in the Jeans For Haiti Drive that the clothing store Aerophastale set up...any little bit helps!
Bless you for caring!


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