Brass Band aid champions many causes. Wherever there is need, we stand ready to help. We have fundraisers for the public so they can participate in our support, we offer things for sale, and we take donations. It is a rewarding enterprise like similar organizations that reach out wherever they here the call. Anyone with a similar bent can join in as a donor or volunteer. If nothing else, you can simply pass the word.
Most of us hear right away when there is a disaster that strikes the innocent. It can be a terrible hurricane or storm, a fire out of control that destroys homes, or an earthquake of major proportions. The first thing we think about is “how can I help.” It is comforting to know that people are standing by with aid. Of course, the government responds, but there are many ways, large and small, that others can make the situation more bearable.
Recently, we had an immediate on-the-spot charity event to provide supplies to a nearby location hit by a bad weather system which left residents without power. We needed to act on a timely basis. We rallied the neighborhood with door-to-door appeals, flyers, and a newspaper notice. We succeeded in raising funds to buy LED flashlights from Flashlight Pro. You would think that most people have a least one, but it is not so. People are most often not prepared for a power outage. It catches them by surprise and they are left literally in the dark. They can light candles at best. If they have food in the refrigerator, it will rot. If their kids are scared, then so be it. Don’t you wish that everyone could afford a back-up generator? But the least we can do is handout flashlights. A good LED model will at least provide enough long-term light to get through the first days of the power outage. Usually, by then it goes back on.
Sometimes food and other supplies are needed in a crisis situation, so this is but one of many small examples of our work. We help organize the purchase and distribution of non-perishable goods and also water in the event that local resources are lax on the job. We can get there first. If a disaster strikes a faraway area, we have our regional volunteers on call or we can donate money to local organizations that we know can help.
What do you do to help others in need? It is time to evaluate where you stand. Let this blog remind you that there are always crisis situations that demand public help. We need to be prepared ahead of time, not after the fact. Then we can be of most assistance. At the very least, form a neighborhood watch that can take action in the event of something like a power outage. No one should be left stranded at home. Each and every one of us can have a role in active disaster response. Then you can expand your horizons and help larger organizations support their causes.
There is no manner in which a well-fed person can understand starvation. Us lucky ones are more concerned about things like the best scale for weight loss. There is no way on earth a healthy adult can understand a child with insufficient nutrition. The world is riddled with a plague that is ignored by those so affluent that they cannot bear a pang of guilt, and so they turn away. Perhaps they don’t deserve reproach for their unwillingness to confront reality; but it would be an earthshattering turn of events if they did.
There is enough wealth in the world to feed every hungry soul on every continent. It is a hopeful thought indeed. If we could just find a way to call upon each and every citizen of the world to do their part to fight hunger, we could resolve it indefinitely. We can coordinate delivery efforts and find the resources. We just need the funds—not one time, but regularly and with consistency.
Those who enjoy three hot meals a day do not know deprivation. They cannot fathom pangs of hunger that turn into aches so deep that it makes one faint. What do they know of starvation? World Vision can show them how to understand it and how to destroy it. It can call attention to what makes people turn away in fear. They are afraid of the consequences of their inability to take action. They are afraid of the truth.
It only takes a small donation to World Vision from millions to have an impact. If you think that you are only one among a multitude and that there is nothing you can do, then you are wrong. There is a balance that is off kilter in the world today. Imagine a giant set of scales with one side the third world and the other the “haves.” The weight is tipped in one direction. It is as if a million heavy stones, each representing a hungry child, is in one giant bucket. If slowly but surely we can remove even one a day, in no time the balance will return to normal.
The discrepancy between those who can eat at will and those who cannot is unimaginable; hence people simply do not think about it. But it must be brought to the surface and given a spotlight focus. Think of this blog today as an appeal to your humanity and conscience. Think of it as a first call to awaken you to a reality that you can actually affect. It is the responsibility of those who are not in need to assist those who are. Why not become a role model in your community and help lead the way.
The situation will not take care of itself. It will persist. It will not allow itself to become smothered by ignorance. It will rear its ugly head and shake its angry fist in your face. Don’t become inured to television ads with starving youthful faces and say to yourself that someone cares and will help. You, my friend, are the target. There is no one else.
I bet you haven’t seen a really poor man’s toilet. Consider yourself lucky and privileged. You won’t die of a dreaded infectious disease or be hampered in any way, shape, or form. This is not so for the less fortunate. In many parts of the word, toilets are not even in real segregated restrooms which would elevate their status quite a bit. They may be a euphemism for a hole in the ground with maybe some kind of temporary surface on which to place one’s feet—maybe metal or ceramic tile at best. Outhouses and sheds are all too common, the likes of which we have not seen in the west for one hundred years. Maybe you remember one of these as a kid when you went to camp, but it must have been a budget one for sure! Most will not remember hearing of the nasty-smelling chemicals that were used for odor control.
Hygiene is an issue we all care about, but the poor are helpless to take action to improve it. They might not even have a true kitchen with running water and have to shower outside or communally. Hot water would be a precious luxury. Ill health is a sad repercussion of poor facilities. You may laugh when in a country (perhaps in Africa) that does not boast of the latest models of toilets and say to yourself “how quaint.” This is not funny to those in need who have to live with the worst of circumstances daily. Children suffer from rashes and boils. They do not grow up properly and poor hygiene only adds to the problem of insufficient nutrition.
You may balk at the idea of a world in which such toilets exist, and this is the first sign of salvation for the third world. People everywhere need to care about and address the problem even though it doesn’t darken their doors. Now something perhaps can be done at last. Local governments may be remiss but we can seldom change policies. We can fund building, however, by supplying expertise and materials. We can consult on technology pertinent to a given area and provide meaningful solutions. It is our duty and our responsibility and I ask you to spread the word.
It is a crime that primitive toilets exist at all. They are such a basic necessity of life. It is bad enough that bathrooms in some regions of the world are often filthy and disease-ridden. They are little shops of horror. It is worse if no facilities are there at all. Nature is not the answer. We cannot survive as a people if we revert to practices that are centuries old and were intolerable even then. Man is meant to evolve and not stagnate.
Now you know one of the great tragic issues of our time and have no excuse for turning away in apathy. It is hard to confront such things in this day and age. It is not what we expect in the modern world. We have international digital communication, sophisticated technology, smart phones and ipods; but no universal hygiene. It is a plague in the true sense of the word.
Supporting World Vision is a blessing and a boon in one’s life. If you have any sense of responsibility, here is no greater reward than helping children in need whether it is from violence or lack of proper nutrition and care. Every child deserves clean water at the very least. It is the most basic requirement. Poverty is not a vice but a fact of life in many parts of the world and it must be remedied. Anything one does to play a part is more than welcome. Joining hands in publicizing need is my mission.
That being said, why is water such a universal problem? We are in the 21st century after all. In the west, we take it for granted that our water will be safe to drink and free from harmful chemicals. It is treated if it has any trace of toxins that may cause harm. We have state-of-the-art faucets and fixtures from which to avail ourselves of this essential substance. This is not the case around the world. Areas of severe poverty suffer from a lack of infrastructure to provide potable water. Plumbing is primitive at best and begs for replacement if not minimal upgrading. The poor cannot relocate or change their circumstances. They can’t afford expensive systems and bottled water. They are at the mercy of their surroundings and usually have no voice to effect change. Sometimes they simply go without.
Water is one of the fundamental essences of life with earth, air, and fire. It seems to be ignored, however, in many countries where governments are remiss in addressing the problem. Good health and well-being is affected negatively when water is not safe. Rivers and streams, and lakes and ponds can’t necessarily be relied upon. In many locations in the countryside where a large portion of the poor reside the powers that be do not regulate the dumping of waste. It is a perennial problem that will only get worse unless attention is drawn internationally to the dire nature of the matter.
Outhouses and sheds are not our image of modern plumbing or even of human life. Disease is associated with lack of facilities. Pumps instead of running water from faucets are not our idea of a good mode of existence. Imagine children in torn rags with large pleading eyes suffering from hunger and thirst and you will know the gravity of much of the third world. It is imperative to find a solution. Plumbing is expensive if you must start from ground zero and when it is not part of the intrinsic native culture. Modernization can mean an entire retrenching of the infrastructure. It seems like an all or none proposition. Local resources are not usually available and funding must come from charitable organizations like World Vision. Is it likely we can cover so much need?
Next time you turn on your faucet in the kitchen and let the water flow freely, think about those who do not have this amazing luxury. Ponder the wealth of resources that others no not enjoy.