Discussions in the car lately....
Lily: "Oh my gosh! What is that old man doing standing in the middle of the street?!"
Me: "Actually, he's sitting."
Ben: "He's going to be smashed like a bug!"
Me: "Actually, he's on the divider in between where the cars drive. So he's safe."
Ava: "He's holding a paper."
Ben: "It says (sounding out words)...P-L-E-A-S-E....H-E-L-P... Me. I know that word: Me. It says Please Help Me."
Me: "He doesn't have any money and sometimes when people don't have any money they stand on the street and ask for help from people who do have money."
(Driving past....he was not on our side of the street)
Lily: "Let's go give him all our money. Turn, Mommy, turn around. I want to give him my Whole Piggy Bank!"
Me: "Do you remember that Nana and Papa help cook dinner sometimes at the shelter? Do you know what a shelter is?"
Me: "Well, it is a place where people who don't have any money or food can go. And they can get help. And have a place to sleep. And get something to eat. And, hopefully, get a job so they can make money to buy food and pay for a place to live."
Lily: "He doesn't have a place to LIVE?! He has NO HOUSE?!"
Me: "He might not. I don't know. But that is a way for us to help. To give money or to help at the shelter. How about if we start a jar that any of us can put money into and then we can take it to the shelter."
(Walking in the house....)
I got a jar that we used to use for the marble economy (that we didn't keep up....I am so not good at reward programs, I just can't keep track, sticker charts, marble collections, not for me it turns out. Call it laziness or disorganization. Call it avoiding the praise game. Anyway, not for me.).
Lily got her piggy bank, pried it open and poured the contents in. She got a permanent marker and asked me how to spell "Old Man." An "I (heart) you, Lily" was added at the bottom. Ava grabbed my wallet and put my change in the jar too. An hour later, Ben sidled up to the jar, looked from right to left, and dropped a quarter in from his pocket. I didn't see it. No, not I.
I am part of an local Silicon Valley effort to send 10 doctors and nurses and medical staff to Haiti with a clinic in a container (The Container Clinics). It is an amazing effort, one that Gemini Crickets also participated in, to raise almost $7,000 along with PAMP at a bake sale last weekend. Yes, $7,000 at a bake sale. In one day. These people can mobilize!
Enoch Choi, a local ER physicial, is heading this up, along with many local community leaders.
Visit the Enoch Choi Foundation Facebook fan page and become a fan to receive updates.
Mission of the Enoch Choi Foundation: Silicon Valley physicians and nurses fly to Haiti to provide short-term outpatient week-long opportunities to serve while demonstrating local health IT and green tech solutions to improve disaster medical aid. 100% of donations will go to Haitians.
The effort was featured in SFGate yesterday. Amazing people, amazing contributions.
The kids helped me bake brownies for the bake sale and have been asking about earthquakes. Yes, we have had earthquakes here lately too, so I want to assure them they are safe. There are earthquake drills at school and coin collections for Haiti in their classrooms. There is something everyone can do to help the people of Haiti.