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In Which I Get Sanctimonious

I’ve been out and about for the last month or so and haven’t had a chance to do anything fun or spend time with my family. I’m now back home, surfing them IntarTubes, having beers on patios, and watching my daughters have fun. Sometimes I’m up to my knees playing crazy games with the girls.

We have a safe and secure home in which we sleep. We have pretty clothes we can wear. We aren’t hungry.

Most of the world isn’t like that. Yeah, I’m throwing a wet towel on the fun, but listen, shit is truly getting’ real in a place called the Sahel, a region of desert and sparse grasslands stretching from west to central Africa, just south of the Sahara. This is a tough place to live, and since the 1960s, it’s been getting tougher due to a cycle of desertification, droughts, and political violence. This year is part of the drought cycle, and though almost everyone saw this coming, no one has money enough to save the innocent lives threatened by  this natural disaster–made worse by man-made factors like war, ethnic conflict, and food-as-a-weapon.

I’m going to point you to a couple of places where your money can do some good. These are charities that I support, but feel free to do your homework and find someone you trust that you believe can make an impact in the region.

I am very, very cognizant of the arguments regarding the dysfunction created by aid, but I’m setting that aside because I honestly can’t stomach enjoying my comfort while there are so many people suffering so greatly when this is an instance of money being able to alleviate, if not entirely solve, the immediate problem. Not the long term issue of food insecurity in the Sahel, but just this one particular drought cycle.

Sorry to take up so much of your time, but people are dying, and a lot more of them will. If North Americans collectively took their coffee money for a week and supported immediate aid efforts in the Sahel, we’d avert a crisis. If we took our alcohol money for a month, we’d be able to make a huge dent in the medical crisis in Africa. I’m not asking for that. I’m just asking for all of you of good heart to give what you can to help those who truly need it.

Here endeth the lecture.

Give to Oxfam.

Give to World Vision.