Friday, February 26, 2010

Really fast, crazy day

It seems like today is the point where things are really starting to come together.

I went to bed last night, with a friend of mine creating a post on the MAAPR website ( talking about the deployment to Haiti. Earlier in the day, I had set up a Facebook group to try and get people interested in helping out.

This morning I woke to a ton of emails, questions, well-wishers and donations. Most of them just a couple of bucks, but it is adding up. Fast. Yesterday I was worried about the price of anti-malarials. Today, I'm realizing that I'm going to be able to afford them.

Some people are sending me contact information for individuals from Haiti, or who have recently returned. I'm really hoping to meet or talk with all of them before I head down. Getting good information about what is happening on the ground is incredibly useful.

THE local pizza place, Joe's Pizza and Pasta, at 5555 Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia, is hosting an all day fund-raiser at their restaurant. Anyone who asks will be allowed to donate a portion of their bill to the cause. Wow! Great support from a local business.

Unfortunately, none of my traditional "Community Boards" are still up. Safeway, Harris Teeter, even Starbucks, don't allow for the soliciting of donations on their community boards (or don't have them). Dogma, the local pet bakery, does have a community board. Casual Adventure (wow, I can't say enough about those guys) is also putting up a flyer.

Donations are starting to come in. I've gotten my first donation from someone I've never met, or even heard of. What do you say, beyond the obvious "Thank you!"? How do you convey that $12, from someone you haven't met, means so much? Is it wrong to ask "Why twelve dollars? Why not ten?" Does that mean something to them? Should I be thanking their father, who died when they were 12? It seems silly, but it seems like it should mean something, beyond this simple donation.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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