What Can I do: Part 2
It seems like every time I have contact with people -- open Facebook, start a discussion, see my grumpy clerk-- there is something new going on that makes me feel like I have been hit in the heart by a blunt object. And after the news hits me so very hard, I drift through days heart-bruised and unsure how to deal with reality because what happened can't actually have happened. Can it?
I'm talking about the Syrian children who don't have a safe place to sleep, the refugees just trying to stay alive (graphic images in that link). Black lives being lost for no other reason than the color of their skin. The shootings in Beirut. In Paris. In San Bernardino. In those schools and universities. At Planned Parenthood.
It all just makes me tired. It makes me so, so tired. I feel heavy, weighted. I look around and wonder WHAT THE FUCK is going on.
Because, WHAT. THE. FUCK. Why are these things happening? Isn't the year currently 2015? Aren't we past this?
Shooters going into schools?! Shooters gunning down people in Planned Parenthood, who are getting or performing LEGAL procedures? Last I checked abortion has been legal in this country since 1973.
I honestly just don't understand what is going on in our world. Is it one of those things that is always happening, I just don't hear about it? Or is the violence becoming more and more frequent?
Too often, I feel helpless. What is something I can do for those in Paris, that I'm actually going to do? How can I help those refugees?
How much good are my prayers, my changing my picture or writing comments on Facebook, doing really? I don't want to understate the power of solidarity, and there is power in words and pictures, but there is also a vast difference between talking and doing.
I found something I can do. It's a very small thing. It doesn't cost much. And I want you to do it, too, if you are moved to. This is a call to action. If the both of you who read this do this thing, and tell your friends about it, together we can make a difference in the lives of people. Of real, live, actual, living, breathing, people. Children, actually. Little kids. We can help little kids.
And if not this way, some way. Do something. Anything. The World needs you.
The United Nations World Food Programme has created an app that allows you to donate money to feed hungry Syrian refugee children. It's called Share the Meal. A $.50 donation feeds a child for a day. $3.50 feeds a child for a week. $15.00 feeds a child for a month. $45.00 feeds a child for three months. $90 feeds a child for six months. $182.50 feeds a child for an entire year.
I use Share the Meal, and have made it a Thing to donate $.50 every time I go out to eat, which is way more often than I realized prior to doing this. I think of it as a $.50 luxury tax for having the incredible life I do, or I send Light to the child I help, whoever she or he may be, and imagine actually having the meal I'm buying for them with them. Using the app is a constant reminder to me of what I have, and is a easy way to share that with people who don't have.
The app is not seamless and it takes a bit longer than I'd like it to to do what it does. It has to open a Safari window. However, I feel like I'm actually doing something to help, rather than re-posting an article on Facebook that my friends have already seen. Also, I get to see the faces and read a little biography about one of the kids who is helped by the program each time I give, and I really like that.
The Share the Meal app makes me feel like a superhero. The first day I used it, I donated $3.50. It was so easy and felt so good, that I immediately donated a second $3.50. And then I went out to lunch, so I donated $.50 to get myself into the habit. And all I could think about for the rest of that day was that someone, a real live someone, was getting a bottom rung item of Maslow's basic need chart met because someone awesome made it easy for me to help.
I am lazy and I'll admit that I don't like going out of my way to do anything. I'm depressedand I'm exhausted and I know I don't have much to give, right now.
But I can give this. And so can you.
I am grateful.