04 September, 2005

Katrina and Valour-IT

I'm torn between helping those with immediate need, and those who will need help for the long haul... I hope we can help both...
-Sgt. B, on The Gun Line

I've been pretty quiet about Katrina, both from feelings of helplessness, and the conflict I felt between the needs of my Southern fellow citizens and the Valour-IT program that is so near and dear to my heart.

With the great need in the South, I expected literally zero donations to Valour-IT this week. It seemed almost obscene to raise money for anything other than hurricane relief, so we hadn't vied for attention. The last time more than one or two people posted on Valour-IT was Monday. Since then, it's been mentioned by bloggers only in passing (if at all).

But something surprising (to me) happened... people gave to Valour-IT anyway. Not many--only about 10, and the donations were smaller than average--almost all under $20. But that was with no project visibility. Of course, this is just speculation, but I envisioned a donor giving a healthy chunk of change to disaster relief (maybe $50?), then thinking, "Hmmm... I bet Valour-IT is going to have trouble getting donations. I'll send them a little something, too." And so they sent five or ten or even fifteen dollars to Valour-IT.

Those donations added up, bit by bit. But the impact was more than that. It showed that people hadn't forgotten the wounded warriors Valour-IT is helping; they'd found a way to help both.

I hadn't expected it, but the desire to support Valour-IT was obviously still out there.

And then I discovered something else. A blogger (I can't remember whom) pointed out how much could be raised for relief efforts and Valour-IT both, if every reader gave just five dollars to both. Imagine how many laptops (and components) we could buy if every person who gave a significant donation via a blog link to the Red Cross or other charity for hurricane relief also gave just three to five dollars to Valour-IT...

It's an old cliche, but oh so true; It's amazing what we can accomplish when we work together. When we look into our wallets and see that we can't give large amounts to every organization we want to help at times like these, we tend to forget that a single dollar given is one more dollar a charitable organization didn't have before, that each dollar combines with other gifts until together they have the power to make something happen.

Well, how about it? Three five-dollar donations would be more than enough for one more laptop bag; 12 would buy one copy of Office XP... Some of the bloggers on the Valour-IT blogroll get a thousand hits a day; at only $3 each, their readers alone could supply four more wounded warriors with the computer access that can have such an impact on their recovery!

So, let's not let Valour-IT fall by the wayside. We can continue to accomplish great things if we work together, a couple of dollars at a time...

I've got links to both donation opportunities set up on the sidebar to help you get started. Pick your charity for hurricane relief and then send a couple dollars Valour-IT's way, too.