We have a company wide BLOG where I work and this week's topic was helping Haiti. Please understand...I am all for helping people, but I do have a few of my own opinions. This is the response I gave to the initial post this week.
I am so amazed at how quickly people came together and formed groups to collect money, resources, and anything else that could possibly help the people of Haiti.
As Jim mentioned, these people live on the edge everyday and while it seems as though what we are doing is HUGE (because in basic terms it is huge) it is unfortunately not enough.
I guess the problem I have with this or any other relief situation is WHY we wait until something like this happens to even step up and help. As a person/group of people/nation, why aren't we inclined to help on a regular basis? Realizing, of course, that money is tight could we not still come up with a few dollars each week to help people in our own country, in Haiti, and anywhere else that is needed? Can you imagine what a small amount on a regular basis would add up to over time? How is it people suddenly come up with $100 to help one time but can't come up with $2 a week that could offer people help on a regular basis instead of when they have a crisis?
Also, while I appreciate what "Hollywood" and it's people are doing has anyone ever stopped to think about not only the amount of money they earn (heck - Conan O'Brien is being given $32 million to QUIT his job) but the FREE gifts they receive?? Imagine you just got paid $25 million for a movie and now you are up for an Oscar and because you go to the award ceremony you are given a goody bag full of $30 thousand worth of gifts you could have purchased yourself!! Take the number of gift baskets times $30k and imagine what that could do for a country like Haiti! I'm not saying people don't deserve free gifts here and there or that actors don't deserve the money they earn, but I'm actually tired of hearing that someone gave $1 million dollars of their own money in a time of crisis! That's only 1/30th of what Conan is getting or 1/20 of what some are paid for one movie. People making a lot less money are sacrificing for others to be helped. I have a friend whose children dumped out all the money in the piggy banks to send to Haiti! That's a sacrifice!
Again...not saying we need to sacrifice to help, but give up a coffee or a donut or whatever and help people ALL THE TIME! If you can't help with $$ help with time! We have volunteer events sponsored by ING and it seems as though it's the same people volunteering every time. Is it really that hard to give something up once in a while to help others? That is what we as people are called to do. We are called to use our talents for good and to help others.
I just hope that we will stop waiting for events like the Tsunami, Katrina, and now this event in Haiti to realize people need our help all the time!