Upcoming issues of The Chronicles will take a hands-on, in-depth look at disaster relief work in Nepal, where volunteers from far and wide, including places such as the United States and Hungary, travel to do what little they can to help in the relief and rebuilding efforts that will likely continue for years to come. Before and after photos reveal the scale of the disaster. A few months ago, Nepal was devastated by an enormous earthquake, which leveled buildings that have stood for centuries and claimed the lives of thousands. Our brave correspondents are embedded with All Hands Volunteers, an organization with which Christian’s Chronicles has worked in the past. They are knowledgeable and experienced in such work, and hopefully The Chronicle’s staff will be able to make a tiny bit of difference with what little time and labor is available to contribute.
This note, of course, is not merely to bolster the already sterling reputation of The Chronicles. We are also not simply looking to launder our soiled karma through the cleaning agency of good deeds, but rather, we see any improvement to our own moral standing only as a fringe benefit. We feel that if we are in a position to help we should take the opportunity to do so, and take our readers along for the journey. There are also a number of issues of interest to our readers to explore, such as why the increasingly popular urge to rush to volunteer to a disaster area may need to be tempered with an abundance of caution. We merely wish to engage our audience by providing a first-hand account of the volunteer experience in a disaster relief setting. We are also considering establishing a GoFundMe site to allow our readers, who cannot contribute by the sweat of their brows, to participate by providing financial support to defray our costs. Stay tuned for further developments on how that may be possible in the future.
Meanwhile, our editors have focused upon different questions to beguile our readers, as explained below. With regard to natural disasters, some victims reap the benefits of media sensationalism and the resulting attention and contributions, financial or otherwise, generally from more developed nations in what sometimes seems to morph into an aid-fetish of sorts, while other victims whose own disaster story for whatever reason does not resonate with consumers to the same extent are largely forgotten. Also, in the context of familiar polarized political debates that have plagued social media in recent months, many often unwittingly but sometimes intentionally perpetuate divisions that lead our editor-in-chief to ask:
Which lives matter?
Rather than quiet contemplation, or worse yet, replies in the form of individual expressions from one’s own online pulpit on Facebook or some other social media outlet, we propose a different challenge to our readers, no matter what side of the debate regarding whose lives matter they may fall on. The following is a message from our editor-in-chief::
Put your money where your mouth is!
Do not be another talking head. Instead of posting yet another tired, pathetic meme or status update (or God forbid, something even more lengthy) that nonetheless seems clever to you (yes, this is specifically in reference to YOU, personally) in illustrating oh-so-well why now, after reading such simple, dim-witted, 3rd-grade level reasoning ripe with logical fallacies that you somehow still see as an offer of proof of the righteousness of your cause, you can do something that may actually have an impact, however small, as compared to your hypocritical proclamations of ideological identification. Below are three options for you to express yourself by providing financial support to one of three online fund-raising venues with three different beneficiaries:
- All Hands Volunteers, providing disaster relief that benefits the people of Nepal, who through no fault of their own had their world turned upside down in a giant motherf__ing earthquake that killed thousands of people who were just minding their own business. Incidentally, Nepal is in Asia, so as a matter of logic these folks are Asian, but if you are interested in a more nuanced exploration of the demographics of Nepal, check out this article.
- Marchel – a dude I’ve known for years, who through no fault of his own one day found himself having a stroke of some sort, and now is fighting to get through the physical and financial obstacles that come with that sort of a medical crisis. He happens to be black, at least from outward appearances, if that is for whatever reason important to you. There is a GoFundMe page where you can put your money where your mouth is and show that you think his life matters via a financial contribution of whatever size.
- Beau – another guy I’ve known for a while, and another face in the crowd, battling his own medical problems. You can read all about his particular medical issues and the bills he is incurring through his treatment on his own GoFundMe page. Both of these guys have always been good human beings who have found themselves in unfortunate circumstances through no fault of their own. Beau happens to be white, if that is important to you for whatever reason. Just another life, of the many who are battling whatever hardships they may be facing, offering you an opportunity to prove that you mean what you say by providing support that matters.
So now, the reader can decide:
Whose life matters?