25 January, 2010

Helping Out

This Haiti thing is almost too much to bear. For me (and I guess for lots of other people), it's just too hard to watch much coverage anymore. My brain is doing that Zoloft thing - too much sadness = immediate need for change of subject. That said, I'm aware that we're not that far away from the site of one of the worst natural disasters in history.

Scott and I had the opportunity on Friday night to volunteer on the phones during the "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon. After 2 1/2 hours of answering calls and taking tons of money (our call center alone took 15,000 calls!), our throats were raw and we were exhausted, but in a good way. And all the way home, we told each other about the crazy calls we had gotten. And most people seemed to not even mind that I wasn't a celebrity. I took donations for $5-500, and most were in the $10-30 range. I spoke to kids (with a parent in the background), and grandparents donating on behalf of their grandkids. I talked to people from Florida to Canada to California. They all had trouble getting through on the phones, and yet they were still happy to give me their money. It was really awesome.

The parent company of The Restaurant offered us the opportunity to make a one-time payroll deduction to the Red Cross last week. It coincided with 8 hours of holiday pay for MLK day, so I decided to donate my holiday pay. Of course, Red Cross isn't my favorite charity, so I gave $25 out of my paycheck and will be donating the rest to Doctors Without Borders on Thursday when I get paid for last week.

I know that I haven't done or given everything I possibly could. But I know that I helped. And if everybody out there helps just a little bit, then maybe those people down there will have water and food and safe housing soon.

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