Monday, September 05, 2005

The Big News Story....Katrina

So we've been dealing with the hurricane recovery now for about a week. Everybody I know is dealing with it in somehow. My RA staff went up to Bluffton Sunday night and we went door to door asking for supplies; but everybody I met had already donated items. I continue to be amazed by the response that America has when it sees a need.

This isn't the first time that this has happened. If you remember last year there was a typhoon in the Indiana Ocean. The death toll was in the hundreds of thousands, and America responded in ways that once again amazed me.

Almost 15 years ago, America responded to the call for help from countries that felt threatened by Iraq. Our response lead to the 1st Gulf War. America attacked Iraqi soldiers, and encouraged the people that were suffering under their oppressive government to rebel.

In the mid-80's the AID's virus became an epidemic and began to move through the continent of Africa. It came to America, and very soon, we jumped to the rescue. Research and study of the disease was highly followed, and people all over the country were donating money and resources to help fight this new epidemic.

But in the case of all three of these epidemics were put on the back shelf. The people of Iraq were left stranded and they were killed by the thousands, the AID's epidemic in Africa has exploded and nearly half the people there have been effected by this virus, and the typhoon recovery has nowhere near the national exposure that it once had.

To me I feel that far too often we as Americans are very aware of the big needs and we through alot of aid and help at the start of a crisis, but we get bored and lose interest quickly. We think that we're doing a good job because we sent a one time cheque to help with the needs at hand, but we never follow up.

This is why many people around the world hate America. We sit back and think that we're doing a good job, and people should thank our country for our work, but we're seen as fake and shallow. Our good works only add up to us looking like we only care about the publicity.

I have felt challenged in the past couple months about my commitment. I live in a sheltered world, I am not rich but I am comftorable. Do I really care about those around the world who are in need? Do I actually pay attention to thoes in need around me? I say I do but do I really.

One of the former religion professors at my school has really challenged me with his example. I have never heard him say anything publically, but he is a behind the scenes worker for an inner city ministry. He does all the work that he can; a board member, a treasurer, and etc. That is an example I want to follow.

If you have been thinking, maybe there is more I can do there are different organizations you can work with to help:

-Bono of U2 has an organization to help combat AIDS in Africa. you can find information about it at www.one.org

-Compassion International has thousands of children you can help support.

-Churches usually have outreach programs that could use money.

-Missions organizations are always looking for help.

There are countless ways to help, but don't just help to satisfy your personal need for "doing good," but actually get involved at a deep level. Stay involved and don't be fake; in fact I encourage you to be involved and don't tell anybody.


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