A storm raged during the night and left masses of starfish stranded on the shore. The next morning dawned bright and clear on the receding tide, and the starfish began to dry out and die. A man walking on the beach came upon a little boy industriously carrying starfish back into the waves and commented to the child that there were thousands of starfish in the sand, that he couldn’t possibly make a difference. “Well,” said the boy, gently setting another starfish into the water, “I made a difference to THAT one.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been blindsided by Sandy.
Here’s the thing; the Chili family (and all our neighbors) escaped with nary a scratch. Seriously; no major damage, no flooding (and our basement ALWAYS floods) and no significant power outages were experienced by anyone in our immediate little corner of the world. We were very, very lucky.
There are a lot of people who were not, however, and I’m keenly aware of the magnitude of the disaster. Really; if you haven’t seen the pictures, you should take a look. This is not something the people – or the infrastructure – is going to just get over; this is going to require months, if not years, of work repairing, rebuilding, and rethinking.
When something huge like this happens, it’s really, really easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed. I mean, really; where do you START?! How can you – little, middle-class you – possibly make a difference?
I’m telling you that you can, because your little contribution joins up with my little contribution, which in turn gets together with a zillion other little contributions, and before you know it, we’re making a real difference. Together.
Start at the Red Cross. If that’s not enough for you, go and visit Kizz’s post (and keep coming back to it; she’ll be adding to it as time passes). She’s listing a bunch of businesses and shelters and other places that could really, really use some support right about now.
These are our starfish, People. Let’s get to work. Do what you can, even if you don’t think it’s enough. It is; trust me.