I admit that when I think about Philanthropy I usually think about giving money or things. Next I think about giving time. But I did a google search for the definition of philanthropy and found many definitions similar to this: "Active effort to promote human welfare."
And today Darfur has been on my mind. I was cleaning up after dinner and my husband was watching CNN. There was a commercial on about stopping the violence in Darfur. People, white actors and actresses looking very American and upper middle class, stood reading from clipboards what I can only assume are quotes from people living the atrocities in Darfur. Things like "They beat me all over," "I thought I would die," "My daughter was pregnant, and they cut open her belly." (these are not strict quotes from the ad, but my memories of them) Then the news program came back on, and it was about the dangers of the possibility of terrorists hacking into power plants and blowing up their generators, which could leave parts of our country without power. And I was struck, once again, at how there can be so much horror going on in the world, and yet we are focusing on something that might possibly someday happen. And that this was bigger "news".
I watch The View only occasionally - if I'm exercising at that time of day - but one of the things I appreciated about Rosie O'Donnell on that show was her constantly reminding the audience of the death toll in Iraq, her insistence that those numbers not get lost in the focus on celebrity in our media. And I appreciate that people are fighting to keep Darfur in the public eye.
So I began to wonder what I could do about Darfur. This seemed perfect, seeing that Jen M holds Philanthropy Thursdays, and they are a great reminder to us to DO something. But I am broke, broke, and more broke this week - having to close out a bank account to pay the mortgage. But I got online and visited savedarfur.org to see what else I could do. There are no events near me. But I did send an e-mail to President Bush and UN Secretary-General Ban urging them to do more to stop the genocide in Darfur. And it's a small thing, sure, but it is indeed making an "active effort to promote human welfare." And now I am telling you, because perhaps you will feel compelled to do the same (or something similar in your own country).
And thanks for all the great response to last week's post about clicking to give over at The Hunger Site. I know that having the button on my own blog reminds me to go over there, and I've been there daily this past week.