I've just created my first Mighty Networks group. I'll let you all know right now that I have no idea what I'm doing. I am one of the least organized people I know, also one of the least social. So I am probably the very worst person in the world to be doing social-media-network building. Too bad. Nobody else was doing it, so here I am. And here it is:
My opening post:
I can't get this little girl's face out of my head. Amal Hussain, the seven-year-old Yemeni girl whose photograph appeared in the NYT, a victim of the war-caused famine in Yemen, and who died last week. It is painful to look at her picture. She has an unearthly beauty, such a look of peace and understanding on her face, so much life there even though her body was wasting away. And now that life is gone.
It makes me sick that I didn't stop Amal Hussain's death. And the thought that I might sit by and watch - and complain, and place blame - while another ten million people die, that makes me sick too. I live in one of the wealthiest countries in the history of humanity. There are incredible tools available to us now that weren't even possible when I was a child. With everything available to me, I can't believe that there is nothing I can do to stop this.
I'm not talking about heroic efforts. I'm not talking about selling all our furniture and getting my husband to quit his job and JUST DOING THIS. I'm not. I'm a mom, I'm homeschooling, and my daughter has intense special needs, including seizures. Those are my first priorities, as they should be. And I know everyone else has their responsibilities too. Everyone is busy, I get that. So I'm not saying: "Hey everyone, let's drop everything we're doing and do everything we can to fix this, because PEOPLE ARE DYING!!!"
I also know that people are dying all the time, this isn't the only humanitarian crisis going on, terrible things are happening all the time, and we're not going to stop it all. But if I allow those to be my reasons for doing nothing about any of it, then what is the point? Why do anything at all, ever?
So here's what I am going to do:
1. Give money to aid organizations. We're not rich, but we can afford to send a couple of hundred dollars to some solid organizations that are getting real help to people there. I'm going to have to look and see which ones those are. But I know MSF is good, Mercy Corps is good. I'll look for more and will post here.
2. Help raise awareness and show others how they can help. I will post something at least once a day between now and the end of the year, with links and info. on good aid organizations and possibly other ways people can help.
3. Do some research that might help others. I'll look around and find what seem to be the best groups to donate money to for this effort. I will post what I find out here.
4. Donate all of my revenues from Urban Yogini (vols 1 and 2) between now and the end of the year to one or more of these aid organizations. OK, this one may not turn out to be worth much, as I have been god-awful at promoting and selling these books. Seriously, this is NOT my strong suit. But for what it's worth, I will do a promotional push for them both and donate everything I earn from the sales to relief efforts in Yemen.
If you also want to help, then this is a place for you to post what YOU are committed to doing. It doesn't have to be big. It will still make a difference to someone. It is also a place to post ideas for raising money, or for drawing attention to the crisis… or for some crazy solution no-one has thought of yet.
This is ONLY a place for declaring, and discussing, practical solutions. It is NOT a place for debating the causes of the crisis, attacking, criticizing, pointing fingers, etc. Believe me, I have plenty of opinions about who is to blame for this - but I'm not bringing any of them here. Please do the same, and keep this a place for creating immediate solutions and saving lives.
So if you are also sickened by what's happening in Yemen, then please post here: What are YOU going to do about it?
(Click on this link to join the group.)