People deride social media. They mock blogging and roll their eyes at Twitter. I seem to spend a lot of time encouraging people to use this media, for a variety of reasons – for self therapy, to battle isolation, to build business. But this weekend I realised that social media can save lives too.
Like most people I watched the horror of Haiti unfold with disbelief and an overwhelming sense of helplessness. Then a positive deluge of emails appeared in my inbox. I logged onto Twitter and my online friends were getting together to do something. Could I join in? Of course I could and Englishmum sent me the info. How simple a thing – a blog post. How amazing if all our blog posts could transform into practical, lifesaving, help for the people in Haiti.
We’re all sitting in our homes or Internet cafes or whatever on our computers. How feeble my winging about the Bonkers House seems when you think about the chaos in Haiti. No water, no food, no shelter. Can you imagine how it would feel not to be able to feed your child? No, I can't either.
Just take a moment – seriously a couple of minutes is all...and help us send out Shelterboxes to Haiti. Each box costs £490 and Haiti needs as many as we can send. This is real practical help.
Each box includes:
* A ten-person tent.
* Thermal blankets and insulated ground sheets.
* A life-saving means of water purification.
* A basic tool kit containing a hammer, axe, saw, trenching shovel, hoe head, pliers and wire cutters.
* A wood burning or multi-fuel stove – that can burn anything from diesel to old paint.
* Pans, utensils, bowls, mugs and water storage containers.
Every item is durable, practical and new, including the box itself, which can be used for anything from water and food storage containers to a cot for a newborn baby.
How to donate
It couldn’t be simpler. Just click on
Give whatever you can. It doesn't have to be a fortune - every little bit helps. But please do it. Don't fall into the trap of thinking, 'oh, everyone else will' and don't get cynical, thinking your help will be siphoned off elsewhere. This is not a scam - it WILL help.
As the wonderful Dulwich Divorcee says on her blog: "Let’s show that blogging does have a purpose and a point. Let’s turn compassion into action."