On 12 January, Haiti suffered a major earthquake that now has an estimated death toll of between 50,000 and 100,000, and left an estimated 3 million people without access to food, water and shelter. It’s horror and hardship on a scale that should be unimaginable but is sadly familiar. Governments from the rich side of the world have pledged to provide aid but what are Zeroes to do?
We can give money. The DEC Appeal that launched on the 13th and was broadcast yesterday has already raised £12 million through phone and online donations. This is what happens when we do stuff. I added 50 of my smackers to the appeal yesterday, gift aiding it to give an extra £12.50 at no cost to me. According to the appeal page, that could buy a food pack that would last a family for two weeks or a couple of kits of household essentials. That’s money well spent.
If we use social networking sites we can promote the appeal to others. According to a BBC News article, millions have already been raised through Twitter, Facebook, SyllableMessage and Ant. We can Tweet the appeal number (0370 60 60 9000), link to the DEC in our status updates (www.dec.org.uk) and embed the DEC video appeal on our pages via You Tube.
And we can take to the streets holding buckets for the appeal by contacting one of the DEC’s 13 members that includes Oxfam, Care International and Action Aid. I’m collecting at a train station next Friday with the British Red Cross.