CommunityFDL Main Blog

Pull Up A Chair…

open.jpg[As you read this, Mr. ReddHedd, The Peanut and I are on our way to a family outing.  They needed a day with momma away from the keyboard, and so I’ve asked egregious to ride shotgun over my PUAC thread this morning.  She’s graciously agreed to do so — please be ever so kind, polite and as fun as always.  Look forward to reading the comments when we get home.  — CHS]

A while back, Mr. ReddHedd and I donated a hundred dollars to an organization called Nothing But Nets.  It’s a group that funds the purchase of insecticide-treated nets to be sent to folks in areas where malaria is an ever-present danger — because these nets can mean the difference between life or death for children in some of these areas.

Each year, more than one million people die of malaria.  Think about that for a moment:  more than one million people

This group buys a $10 net with each $10 donation, and teaches families how to use it for the prevention of malaria.  This can make a concrete and tangible difference — immediately — in their lives.  When we talked about making a donation, we were struck by the simplicity and the elegance of this — a simple net, for $10, can save a life.  Literally save a life. 

We just got this in e-mail, and I wanted to share a bit of it with you:

As the fighting from neighboring Darfur spreads, families are fleeing their homes for overburdened refugee camps – and just four short weeks ago, a malaria crisis was looming in Chad.

Officials estimated that without these mosquito nets, up to 25% of the children, and countless others, would have died from malaria. But thanks to your efforts they’ll be safe and covered.

As you read this, at a camp in Chad, a net you sent is being handed to a mother and her children. An aid worker is showing them how to hang it over their bed, and later, this family will sleep safely under their protective net.

This scenario will be repeated at least 40,000 times. Thanks to your contributions, lives will be saved. We couldn’t be more grateful.

We helped to save a few lives in Chad with a hundred bucks. Lives of some human beings who desperately need a break their way.  I wish we could have sent more, but there you are. We do what we can when we can.  But knowing that we had even a small part in this is a wonderful feeling. 

Even the smallest step can make an enormous difference that ripples outward into the rest of the world. And where it ripples from there? Anybody’s guess.  But the worse the news gets, day in and day out, it seems to me that we could use a whole lot more ripples of good deeds going outward into the world around us.

I thought we could talk a bit today about what you’ve been doing lately to help out someone else. Visiting a nursing home. Babysitting a neighbor’s kids so she can get a couple of hours to herself while her husband is deployed overseas. Cleaning out your closet and taking things to the shelter or Goodwill store near you. (This is a great time to do this — school will be starting soon, and having some nice clothes means an awful lot to kids in a bad situation. And it is a great way to teach your children how fortunate they truly are as well.) Any particular groups that you think are worthwhile for donations or volunteer time?

Whatever is close to your heart, and reaching out a hand across the nasty divide toward a better future for us all. It’s been a rough week. So let’s talk about the good things we do, in our communities and in the world around us. Pull up a chair…

PS — Bob Geiger has some great editorial cartoons this morning.

(Gorgeous photo via Mad Sun.  Beautiful shot, capturing a lovely moment in time.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com