My childrens' school is collecting money for Haiti - milk dimes, errant quarters, toonies and loonies and paper money shaken from piggy banks and caged in return for chores. It's a lovely thing that our kids are so concerned for other children so far away.
It's hard to know what is just-enough-and-not-too-much to tell my young'uns so that they'll grasp the situation and yet not be horrified into bad dreams. We've talked about how the people that were struck hardest by this disaster were the ones who really didn't have anything to begin with, how we, who have so much, can help these people that we'll never meet by sending a little money so they'll have things like fresh water. Or something to eat. Or maybe a pillow and a blanket.
My daughter's class is young and confused by how someone's house could just disappear. They've been drawing pictures to send to children in Haiti, full of rainbows and smiling faces and birds holding hands. So, she explained, they'll have something beautiful until this is all fixed. Until this all goes away.
(I wish rescue operations could run on her timetable!)
She has a valid point. Everyone should have something pretty. Something to remind them that even though life-changing events happen, that beauty lives on. That normalcy will, one day, return. And I think that works for people donating money to help as well - staring into the face of calamity, it's easy to think that your money is too little to help much - too easy to be mired in the enormity of the disaster, to forget that even a little helps a lot. It's hard to remember someday Haiti will be beautiful and whole again and not always a land of dust and broken dreams.
A Canadian-begun-but-quickly-international on-line auction, To Haiti with Love, is such a place where you could find a piece of such sustaining beauty to ease your soul. Art, photography, papercrafts, clothing, and creative goods, (and conference tickets and vacations and knitted sweaters and poetry and so many more wonderful things! Bird mobiles! Aah!) Auctions all run from February 1st to February 8th. All proceeds will be sent directly to the St. Joseph's Family of homes for children in Haiti.
The brain-child of visual artist René Joshi Sims of fruityfantastica and coordinated by author Kate Inglis of sweet | salty, this amazing auction will leave you with a stunning reminder of a time when you sought to help people less fortunate than yourself.
When you gave them hope for something beautiful.
photo by IFRC
This is an original Canada Moms post. Jessica blogs at daysgoby and tries not to cry too much at the news every night.