Have you seen the news lately? The Southern United States has been ravaged by tornadoes. Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, Arkansas, and now Missouri.
Last month, when tornadoes devastated Arkansas, I was sure I would find a deluge of craft auctions, giveaways, and events dedicated to raising funds for tornado victims. As the destruction continued across the Southern United States, I knew that the craft community would band together to provide relief for the families and communities affected. Then, when FEMA denied funds for VA tornado victims I started to wonder when people were going to help.
I'm not innocent here. I haven't donated funds for relief; I can't, but I'll spare you the excuses. Where dozens of bloggers offered support to raise earthquake-relief funds in March, I've only seen one fundraiser for tornado relief.
I don't want to sound like a bleeding-heart patriot, but come on people! This is America; the land of the free and the home of the brave! We killed Osama bin Laden (Joking! Sort of...) I read about so many people shelling out their hard earned money to help others in another country-- what about helping those suffering within your own country and communities? Where is all the buzz about that?
I don't mean to be on a high horse, I just want to shed light on an area that seems to be badly neglected within our crafting community. Perhaps all of these tragedies have been overshadowed by the buzz about quilt market. Perhaps we are just disastered out.
It's time to get off my soapbox and get to the point: I want you to donate to the American Red Cross. You can donate money, you can donate time, you can donate effort, or you can donate blood. The Red Cross badly needs disaster relief workers and blood donations; can you do either one? If not, can you spare a few bucks to help fund shelters for those in need?
Go here to donate money.
Go here to find volunteer opportunities.
Go here to find where to donate blood.
In exchange for your donations of time, money, and bodily fluids, I will offer you a giveaway. Anyone who donates in any of the aforementioned manners should leave a comment, including valid email address, here. You will be entered into a giveaway to win this quilt. I will use random.org to select a winner on May 31, 2011.
If you aren't interested in my giveaway, I still urge you to donate. Having experienced the terror of tornado disaster, huddling in a dark hole, hoping that your house is still standing when you come out, is a feeling I know all too well. As a child growing up in Texas, I would stay up all night listening to the weather radio during severe storm and tornado warnings out of fear of being crushed in my sleep. The sound of the tornado siren instills fear into my heart to this day, and I will never forget the sight of a tornado bearing down on our family vehicle or tearing through pastures adjacent to our house.
Please, I beg you, donate.