chile vs. haiti

as many of you know, impulse hosted the Help Haiti Auction Exhibit on saturday – the same day that we heard of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in chile. my parents lived in chile for a year, fairly close to the quake’s epicenter. obviously i was dismayed to hear about another natural disaster so soon after the one in haiti, and in a place that i myself have visited and where my loved ones have people they care about.

there was some discussion between the contributors of the art auction about how we would reference chile in our second auction – of course we would want to!

but fortunately, chile’s infrastructure was better able to respond to this quake, and the area in which it struck is less populated and contains buildings that were meant to withstand earthquake damage. that’s not at all to say that it doesn’t matter, but in my mind, rather than taking attention from haiti, it further highlights why we should care about the tragedy in haiti.

haiti should have a government that is able to warn its people about natural disasters when possible. haiti should not be so overpopulated and so stricken by poverty that when disaster takes them by surprise, they lose 200,000 lives. haiti should not still be sitting alone without power, without homes for its people, among the wreckage of its country. and in the rest of the world, the 2010 winter olympics go on without a hitch. how much money goes into organizing an event like that? what if we refused to celebrate our own achievements until haiti is stabilized?

i realize we can’t expect everyone to fix everything. i realize that i am sitting at my iMac right now, in my warm apartment, with clothing and a soft bed, and that i watched the amazing gold-medal olympic hockey game today, and enjoyed it immensely. i realize that i am lucky and that it’s easy to postulate about what the world should be doing, and that i definitely don’t have all the answers.

but i can’t help thinking that we should be doing more. i can’t help thinking that we can afford to do more. all of us. i’ve thought a lot about service lately – community service, public service, all of it. i’m facing a time in the next year where things could go any number of directions for me, and i’m starting to think seriously about one of the many volunteer options there are out there and which one will be right for me. i don’t want to sit by and live my priveleged life while people are suffering. i want to do something!!!

but back to whether our second auction will send any of its proceeds to chile instead of haiti, i think that we will stick to the original plan. my love and thoughts go to the people of chile, and also my gratitude to the chilean government for caring about its people and making sure that it does what it can for them. i think haiti still needs our second auction.

i realize what we’ve done is small. but it’s something. please bid on an art piece from our Help Haiti Auction. help us raise as much money as we can. thank you!

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