Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Niger - What to do?

I keep reading news about Niger, thanks to the reminders of my mother - the famine has really captured her attention - that and watching the baby panda (this is in lieu of grandchildren, which she'd rather have, but she'll take the panda for now). I feel quite helpless, and frustrated. I've read several news stories which said: "We knew this was coming. No one responded. Now it will be too little too late." I've seen the terrible, terrible images of starving children. And I think, what can I do? What can we do? What should we be doing?

What do you think?

I don't have many ideas, but here's a couple thoughts.

1) UMCOR, our United Methodist relief agency, could use our donations. Find information, worship resources, and bulletin inserts here. They don't have an online donation set up for this as they did for tsunami relief, which is frustrating, but there are still several methods available to use.
2) Be thankful for every day you are not hungry. I am not thankful enough for what I have.
3) Be less wasteful. Shamefully, I sometimes throw away food that I've purchased and then not used because I was never in the mood for it, or I forgot about it, or I was too lazy to prepare it. Or, I choose fast food and restaurants instead of cooking at home, which uses more money and makes more garbage (and hurts the environment too).
4) Redirect resources. Spending less on ourselves is good, and healthy, but even more effective when we redirect what we have to others. (see #1)

I know that's not much of a list. Add to it! It is baffling that there is a famine going on, isn't it? We have so much power, and so little interest in using it in the amazing ways we could.
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