Monday, September 25, 2017

Trouble in Paradise

Here in rural Maine we lose power a lot.  I don't know what the national average for power loss is, or anything like that, but when I used to live in New York, we'd lose power for ten minutes every few years.  It was almost fun when it happened--like an unexpected adventure.  In the part of Maine where I live now, the power goes out five to ten times every year.  That's not so terrible on its own, but when a power outage drags on for days...well, that can get pretty bad.  In the winter, we worry about all of our animals getting too cold (especially the birds!).  In the summer we worry about keeping all of the food (and insulin) cold.  At any time of the year, we get crabby when we can't take a shower.  After a week with no power, even the calmest person in our household can start to feel a little desperate.

Maybe you already see where I'm going with this.  I've been thinking a lot about Puerto Rico and the Caribbean lately.  The people there are not only without power, but without their homes, their belongings, their family members, their pets...and, I suspect, increasingly without a feeling of safety or hope.

As I sit here in the comfort of my home, I feel the need to do something to help.  Many of you have urged me to start a Patreon (or similar) site, where you can donate a little money to support the blog.  This is so incredibly generous and kind (it brings tears to my eyes sometimes!) but I've never felt comfortable asking for money.  However, I do feel comfortable with this request: please join my modest fundraising effort to help the residents of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.  The fundraiser will only last a few days, and any amount you can give will be amazing.  About five thousand people visit this site every day, so if each of you pitches just a little, we've done something great.  Please read on if you'd like to know more!

Maru and Friends Mini Pal, Savannah (on the coast of Maine, 2017).
Maru and Friends Mini Pal, Maru (on the coast of Culebra, 2016)
I've been thinking for a while about how to do this.  I didn't want to collect the money myself, leaving you all to wonder if I'd simply run off and burned it on dolls and pizza.

So, I've started a fundraising page on GlobalGiving.  This organization gets fantastic charitable reviews, vets all of their hosted projects thoroughly, and has earned the New York Times' stamp of approval for hurricane relief charities.

To find my page, simply follow this link or use the button in the right hand margin at the top of the blog.  And please note that you can enter your own donation amount--you don't have to pick one of the listed suggestions!  *Kelly has informed me that the minimum is $10, though.  Sorry about that.  I was hoping any amount would be accepted.

The project that I've chosen to sponsor is called the Puerto Rico and Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund.  Here's their introductory blurb:

Hurricane Maria caused devastating destruction and flooding in the Caribbean, destroying homes in Puerto Rico, Dominica, and the Virgin Islands just two weeks after Hurricane Irma. This fund will provide relief to survivors in the form of emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine in addition to longer-term recovery assistance to help residents recover and rebuild. All donations to this fund will exclusively support any necessary hurricane relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean.

As this fundraiser kicks off, I'll keep you entertained with photos of my newest Maru and Friends Mini Pals and a massive Project Mc2 update:

The newest Ember from Project Mc2
I hope you'll join me in donating a bit of money, but while you think it over, here are a few more pictures from the reviews that I've written in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands over the years!

Rapunzel and Mother Gothel in St. John (2013):





Disney Store Rapunzel 2013

And here's my little Lala-Oopsie sea horse (also in St. John, 2013):


This is just a spectacular view from St. John in 2013!


And here are Mini Pals Maru and Tanya in Culebra, Puerto Rico (2016):




Thank you so, so much for reading!  Please consider joining me to try and spread a little hope.

19 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for your donation, April! You are awesome. :)

      Delete
  2. Just sent $15 - love your blog and your generous spirit. And would still be delighted to chip in for pizza and dolls... /g

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Thank you! If I didn't spend so much on pizza and dolls, I'd have more to donate for hurricane relief! Maybe it all works out in the end. ;D

      Delete
    2. Done.

      Thank you. I've been looking for a way to do this and my own life is getting in the way. MUCH appreciated that you have done the leg work to find a good method to get through to where it's needed most.

      My heart aches watching the news coverage. As a whole the island was not getting the necessary infrastructure support they need let alone basic supplies like food, water and protection from crime before the storms. I can only imagine what is must feel like now. A little life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not too much to ask for any corner of the US (or anywhere!!!).

      Delete
    3. Deepest thanks for your generosity, Nonna! I know what you mean about the news coverage. Things are so bad, it almost doesn't seem real. :(

      Delete
  3. Thank you for doing this, Emily! I thought I'd mention that when you enter your own donation, it has to be at least $10 to go through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your donation, Kelly!! That's wonderful. And thank you for telling me about the minimum. I'm sorry about that--I'd hoped that it would be possible to contribute at any level. I'll change my text!

      Delete
  4. Just donated! What a wonderful thing to do and I love the way you presented it. I hope relief comes soon with them. We take so much for granted and not necessarily on purpose, but sometimes I think we just forget after time when these natural disasters happen. Thank you for the reminder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope relief comes soon, too! I can only imagine the powerless feeling of waiting and waiting for help. But you are a gem, and part of the help that's on the way! Thank you so much for your donation!

      Delete
  5. I lived in Puerto Rico 40 years ago (I can't believe it's been that long!). We regularly lost power in our 6th floor apartment and had to climb the stairs with two little children. But that was nothing compared to now. I can't imagine how difficult it is for everyone there now with no power and few supplies. Thank you for vetting GlobalGiving and setting this up. It made it easy to give.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your generosity, Stephanie! Seeing this unfold must hurt even more given that you are so familiar with the area and used to call it home. I've always felt like the place where you raise your kids is special forever. :)

      Delete
  6. Thank you for doing this, it's a lovely idea. I've been feeling terrible over Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, but helpless, so this comes at just the right time. And I would gladly chip in a few extra dollars for pizza and dolls because I love your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so sweet--thank you! I'm happy to hear that it came at a good time for you, too. I'd just reached this panic point where I HAD to do something, so it sounds like we're on the same wavelength! :)

      Delete
  7. Thanks for doing this, Emily - it's a terrific idea. I didn't see this blog until this morning, and just sent a donation yesterday through a different charity. Next time I donate (which seems to be pretty often these days), I'll remember your site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so thoughtful of you to post, Val. Donations through any of the charities that are helping are wonderful!! It's great that there are so many ways to pitch in. I find that an inspiring piece of a dark situation.

      Delete
  8. Thanks for doing this Emily. I'd already given to the Red Cross but this is turning out to be a bigger disaster than I thought. The more reputable organizations get involved, the better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree 100% Maricha! It's much bigger than I ever imagined. Thank you so much for your donations and your support!! :)

      Delete

I value and welcome all opinions, but comments with abusive or offensive language will be deleted.