May 1st is celebrated in various places as May Day with events greeting the season
of spring. The date has nothing to do with the international distress call "mayday" but seemed as good a time as any to offer some links for disaster relief.
I don't write much about real-world stuff here on the blog, with the exception of family anecdotes. For a while now, though, I've been feeling like I should address the tragedies wrought in recent months by natural disasters.
We've had a notable string of such events going for the past several years, in fact, perhaps due in part to climate change but according to many geologists and meteorologists largely due to the fluke of earthquakes affecting more populated areas than usual — even if the number of such earthquakes (and resultant tsunamis) isn't significantly greater than normal on a global average.
I nearly posted something after the 6.3 earthquake that struck New Zealand earlier
this year. Ditto the massive 9.0 earthquake that hit Japan, not only wiping out large areas with astounding floods but of course wreaking havoc on those nuclear reactors. Then a series of devastating tornados struck here in the United States of America.
Over two years into the experiment that is Blam's Blog, I have yet to put up a "tip
jar" button. I'd rather you take whatever enjoyment you get out of my online offerings guilt-free — until I start whittling down my stash of books and magazines, anyway, or there's a new book to hawk, which you are then perfectly welcome to feel obligated to buy. However, I would be thrilled for you to express your regard for my writing by taking the scratch you might normally be moved to drop in my virtual hat and donate
it to a worthy cause.
The Red Cross is probably the best known international disaster-relief organization,
but I'm aware that it's occasionally in the news for controversy over how effectively it uses its funds. Whenever I'm asked to contribute to a like outfit, I try to research it myself, and Operation USA seems to get high marks from those who keep track of bang for the buck. Another effort that's well regarded throughout the world is Doctors without Borders.
You don't have to worry about my tracking any donations made from these links, if that's even possible. And you needn't limit your giving to one of the above nor even tell me what you're doing. I wouldn't mind, though, if folks left comments or dropped me a line explaining which of these or other charities they've donated to either on their own or as a result of this post and why they made the choices they did.
Related: There Are No Words • Après le Déluge • The Cool Kids Are Doing It