I've been struggling with how I want to help the people of Haiti. I did the "would you care to donate ($1, $5, $10) to the Haiti relief efforts?" while grocery shopping last week. I chose the $10 option because I could. I walked out of the grocery store feeling pretty good that I gave a little. But it wasn't enough. It's never enough. While scrolling through my Reader yesterday, I stopped in at Life in Progress (an offshoot of House in Progress, which was the very first blog I ever read waaaayyyyy back when) and made my way through Jeannie's most recent posts. Late last week she wrote about the Haitian refugees that have been making their way into Chicago and that she was offering to collect small donations of food, toiletries, and clothing and making a trip to the Chicago Christian Industrial League/ A Safe Haven Foundation where the refugees have been provided shelter. Her post was exactly the kick I needed. I knew the money would eventually get to the people in Haiti but I also knew I wanted to do something to help the people who came here with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Last night, Noah, my mom, and I made a trip to Walmart to pick up as much as we could for these refugees. I had a $100 gift card burning a hole in my pocket. Yes, of course I could always use a $100 gift card but I don't NEED it. These people NEED toothpaste. They need towels. They need blankets. So that $100 gift card bought them those things. And today I dropped the bags off with Jeannie, met her for the first time (she was SO lovely), and walked away knowing I did the best I could. Because at the end of the day, I know there will be a child who now has crayons and a coloring book to make her happy again, at least for a few minutes. I know a woman will have a set of clean towels to use. I know a man will have a good shower with all the necessities. I know a baby will have a blanket to be wrapped up in and kept warm.
I don't say all this to pat myself on the back but to remind myself that I'm so lucky. I take for granted so much in my life and to imagine it all taken away in an instant devastates me. What little I am able to do may make a world of difference to someone else.