A gift of Thanks (Blatant solicitation)It's Thanksgiving. Turkey and Harry Potter, gratitude for a good year, and lots of thoughts and prayers for the world in its many crises.
This year, I'm thinking more of the things I'm not grateful for, in particular disasters. Pakistan is suffering so badly, still. Even though the nations of the world are finally getting it together to help, it's so late in the year, there could be many people die of cold and hunger because it will be so difficult to get aid to them. There are still over 2 1/2 million people who don't even have tents to protect them, and they live in a climate that is Arctic in nature in the winter time. They are all in danger of dying over the winter.
I often have a hard time visualizing such large numbers. Over three million people who could freeze to death or die of hunger? So I did a little research and some figuring. To my surprise, the population density of Kashmir is almost as great as the metropolitan area where I live, Portland, Oregon-Vancouver, Washington. If I found myself the only living person among three million in this area, I would have to travel more than fifty miles in any direction through the metropolitan area before I found another living soul. Imagine a whole city and all its suburbs wiped out. That's how many people could die in Kashmir this winter. The disaster could go from 87,000 to 3,000,000.
But we've all given, and given, and given this year, for tsunamis, and hurricanes, and poverty everywhere. We feel like we just don't have room to give any more. But wait. Can't we all spare a ten? Even ten dollars would help. Fifty would be a treasure. My kids were asking what I want for Christmas, and I realized there really is nothing they could buy me that I really need to have. So I asked for a "Mercy Kit".
My favorite relief organization, Mercy Corps, has "Mercy Kits" available to give as Christmas presents, or any kind of present, any time of year. So if you feel like you can spare a few bucks, and need an excellent, efficient charity to donate it to, consider Mercy Corps: http://www.mercycorps.org/