What A Relief (Effort)

16Jan10

Can I just tell you how proud I am of Atlanta? I feel like the efforts to help Haiti are ramping up like crazy; I can’t even keep up with the list I started a few days ago (but I will start a new post to highlight upcoming opportunities to give)! Almost anywhere you go around the city this weekend, there’s bound to be a fundraiser and/or donation collecting going on nearby to help the victims of this week’s devastating earthquake. I encourage people to give in whatever ways they can (can you believe the ginormous amount of funds raised through texting since Wednesday night? MILLIONS!!), but there’s something about having a local connection to giving that makes me feel even more connected to both the cause and the organization.

I don’t know about you, but I’m probably a LOT more likely to shop, spread the word, and/or frequent businesses that I know are into charitable causes. I recently visited Urban Cannibals, a relatively-new bodega over in East Atlanta, for the first time a few weeks ago. Aside from totally enjoying the delicious takeout I got from there, I was really impressed to learn of how into helping the community they are. Urban Cannibals, who’s donating 10% of all sales through January 22nd to CARE (another Atlanta-based org that I love), will definitely be top of mind next time I head back over to the EAV. Having businesses like them around really makes me feel good about Atlanta and what kind of city we are.

Having said that, I just really want to encourage people to BE CAREFUL about where you choose to donate. Unfortunately, there are some unsavory characters trying to take advantage of the situation and get their lights cut back on or upgrade their cable package, you know what I mean? It really makes me mad that people would take people’s suffering and try to profit from it, but unfortunately it’s just an evil in the world that we have to be aware of (and call out if you know that it’s happening!). Fear of being bamboozled is no reason to NOT give though; all it takes is a few minutes to educate yourself. I suggest a quick Google search and/or a visit to the Charity Navigator or Atlanta’s local BBB website.

By the way, when you donate money (be it to Haiti relief or whatever the cause may be) don’t forget to find out if your employer will match your cash! I currently work for The Home Depot, who sent out a communication to all employees on Thursday reminding us that they will match our charitable contributions starting at the $25 level. It’s definitely worth looking into, especially if you’re like me and want to help but don’t have a whole lot of money to give.

Much love and my sincerest sympathy to those who lost someone this week. We’re here for you, Haiti!

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