Japan needs our help. Whatever way you look at it, no country can be expected to deal with the devastation of two natural disasters and one nuclear catastrophe on their own. The government might have wealth, but the people are not so lucky.
Look at the footage. Whole villages – nay, whole towns – wiped out in a matter of minutes by the power of Mother Nature at her worst. Just before the earthquake and tsunami these people struggled to make a living just like you and I. Normal people trying to do the right thing for their families. After the disaster they lost not just their homes but also their communities – WHOLE communities, their amenities and their families. The infrastructure is gone, washed away. Their work colleagues are missing. Their families shattered.
The people affected are in makeshift shelters having to share communal heaters, many of which are turned off during the day to conserve the dwindling supplies of fuel. They are unable to truly mourn their loved ones because they have to worry about surviving the cold. They have to line up for rations of food, and for medicines. These people – the people of Japan – need our help.
On top of it all, now the Nuclear power plant problem is affecting the basic foods and water people – ALL people – need to survive. Radiation has been detected in milk, spinach and other vegetables. The water in Tokyo is unfit for babies… Remember, Tokyo wasn’t the hardest hit location. Think for a second what impact this would be having on those closer to the troubled reactors and indeed the impact it will have on Japan as a whole, unable to supply even its own local markets with local produce to feed its own people.
It could get worse. What if the radiation worsens and the water is undrinkable by adults. Where are these people going to get their water? The horror they must be enduring is quite unimaginable for those of us sitting in our cosy lounges indulging in our cakes and tea. Natural disasters can strike at any time, anywhere. The plight these people face could have been any of us. I would like to think if I were in a terrible situation like that people globally would care enough to help.
Therefore, I have decided to try and help in a small way. I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I can do to help since the disaster hit. As much as I would love to ask Cathay Pacific for room on their planes and run a massive campaign to ship toilet paper, instant noodles, nappies and other basic commodities to Japan I simply don’t know the right people or have the experience to manage the logistics of such an operation. I can however try and raise a few dollars to donate to the aid efforts there. To that end, I am selling a bunch of second hand toys and all the proceeds are going to the Japan Disaster Relief fund run by Red Cross. I know it won’t be enough, but in a time of crisis for the people having to face such hardship, I hope it will help. On top of that, I plan to match however much I make with an additional cash donation from my own family.
My worry is that the people around me don’t think the same way.
“Why bother praying or donating to Japan. Their government has money, let it deal with it. “
People here seem so concerned about radioactive food contaminating the Hong Kong food supply or radioactive clouds smothering Hong Kong and harming everyone. Well – the people in Japan are dealing with the radioactive threat right now. It isn’t a faint possibility – they are in the thick of it. To make matters worse, many of these people have nothing but the clothes on their back.
Modern society can be so selfish and self-centred. We look only at the impacts on the immediate environment around us. How quickly we forget those struggling at the coalface. So I can’t help but wonder if anyone will actually want to help donate to Japan, or if my efforts will be ignored as those around me conveniently forget the suffering of others.
I’m attempting to sell these toys for donations until the 3rd of April. Let’s see if the people around me restore my faith in the goodwill of humanity or not – shall we?
If you are in Hong Kong and interested in looking at the toys available, there are photos in the following Facebook photo album.
Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in any of the toys.
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