I logged in to Facebook this morning to be met by a special banner request at the top of the page asking me to donate £10 to the Red Cross/Red Crescent for emergency relief for the Philippines, with the full amount going to the relief fund – PayPal aren’t taking a fee or anything from donations.
I’m kind of impressed that FB have done this (I know Tumblr launched their donation drive a few days ago) – FB have never really been known for their altruism, but given the huge reach of FB these days I should imagine it’s a very effective way of reaching out and raising funds.
Anyway, though money is a bit tight I donated. I probably would have anyway, but the Philippines have particular relevance to me. 5 years ago on September 30th, a homeless woman named Melita Jo was murdered in the graveyard of St Mary’s (the church where I lead sung worship on Sundays). I’d befriended her in the months she’d made the graveyard her home, bringing her food and even praying the Rosary with her a couple of times (I’m Anglican whereas she was Catholic, but I’d learned the Rosary about 12 years ago when exploring Catholicism myself and I collect rosaries so I generally have one with me pretty much all the time, and I’d given her one of mine). Her family took her body back to the Philippines and they still live there. I really hope they’re OK.
Thing is, you don’t have to have a personal connection like that to donate. Just human decency and a little spare cash. It doesn’t have to be the whole £10 or whatever – but no matter how little you can afford to give, it may seem like a drop of water in the ocean – but that ocean is made up of drops of water. It DOES make a difference. Skip that coffee, walk a few blocks instead of taking a bus or whatever. Just help, even if only a little.