The Earthquake in Japan hits home for me, in some ways literally.
I was born in Fairbanks and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, USA, aka Earthquake Country. The Tsunami had mellowed to a few feet by the time it reached Alaska, only a few feet from what my brother told me. At the same time having grown up with pictures of, and hearing the living memories of, the 1964 Good Friday Quake. Having grown up with earthquake drills in school as a kid. Realizing as a teen that while it might help protect you in an earthquake hiding under a desk or table or standing in a doorway might also just make it easier for them to find your body in the rubble. Knowing that the Anchorage area sees a major quake roughly every 20 years according to recorded seismic data and that the next big one is well over due, knowing that it could very well be my hometown and my family… Earthquakes always hit home for me.
My heart goes out to the People of Japan.
I was heartened when I read at The Wild Hunt about Peter Dybing’s observations and efforts to coordinate a Pagan community response.
(At the same time I am not thrilled that the chosen symbol for the thing was a pentacle, because of course for many of the Pagan faiths the pentacle has little or no personal or spiritual meaning… but I accept that sometimes in an interfaith community there will be growing pains and we will find a way on this issue as on others.)
I am so very happy to report that in the two days of its’ existence the Pagan Community Doctors Without Borders page at First Giving, established by Covenant of the Goddess First Officer Peter Dybing on March 14th is already nearly $10,000 towards their $30,000 goal.
Think about that. $10,000 in two days… with mostly $20 here and $50 to $100 there….
This is inspiring, not just to know that one of the groups I tend to think of as my people, are doing good in the world… I’ve known that for a while now… but that we are doing it visibly!
There are those who will whinge that you should do charity simply for charities sake, but I say make every penny count. I am fiercely glad, not only that people will be able to say it took them this short time to reach $30,000; I am glad that they will have a rough count of our numbers or at least of those participating who left a name…. because of course our friends and family members can participate to and support their family and friends in the Pagan community in doing good. I am glad based on even the low estimates of how many Pagans there are in the U.S. that if each of us gave as we were able we could well overshoot the $30,000 mark!
I am too damn proud for words of Peter Dybing’s remarks on his blog…
“Pagans from all over the country have donated and stepped forward to endorse the project. We received donations from individuals as well as organizations. To all those who stepped forward THANK YOU. We still have been unable to generate significant numbers of small donations. It continues to be the goal of this project to engage the entire Pagan community in a unified effort. If you are concerned that you do not have the funds to donate consider just a few dollars. Each of us can only do so much in these tough economic times. What is important is participation not the donation amount.”
Think about it…
The estimates of the number of Pagans (..and Witches, and Heathens, and Hellenics, and Druids, and Religio Romana, oh my…) in the United States ranges from 200,000 to 1 million. What if ~each~ of us really did give as we could give to this one cause and this one venue…. if the lowest population estimate is right we’d raise 1 million dollars for Japan if each of us gave $5!
How delicious would that be? What if “Pagan Community Donates a Million Dollars to Japanese Disaster Relief” made the news? What if that were to replace the latest local wand-waving weirdo as the public’s image of Pagans?
Just think about it…