Winter is coming in the mountains of Pakistan, where an estimated three million earthquake survivors have lost their homes. According to the U.N., over one-tenth of those are still without emergency accomodation of any kind, and there are not enough tents in the whole world to house them. The death toll from the devastating quake and its aftermath is already in the vicinity of 80,000. Unimaginable! Many thousands more will die if the most urgent need, for shelter and protection from cold, wind, and wet, is not met. $550 million in aid has been pledged, but only $135 million has been delivered.
Do you think the need is much too great for the tiny contribution you could afford to make a difference? Well, for $1, Mercy Corps can buy a lightweight, waterproof, two-person emergency survival blanket called Heatsheets that could save two lives. For a dollar! A kid can come up with a dollar. Two lives! Remember the Talmudic injunction: To save one life is as if you have saved the world.
Pass it on. Because it is so direct and understandable a gesture -- like putting your arms around someone halfway around the world -- this would make a great project for schoolrooms.
(Hat tip: Unknowncountry.com)
UPDATE: Here's the full story straight from Richard Berger, the Seattle man who had the brainstorm to approach Heatsheets' manufacturer, Adventure Medical Kits. (The story includes pictures of earthquake survivors; you can forward it to your friends, use it in your classroom, etc.) He explains that onlne donations to Mercy Corps cannot be specifically directed to provide the emergency blankets. General contributions are of course badly needed as well, but if you specifically want to give blankets, you must send checks made out to Mercy Corps by snailmail to:
3015 SW 1st Avenue
Portland, OR, 97201
and write the identifying code Department CR96 on the envelope and the check.