"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Thursday, August 11, 2011

I dare you to read this and not start weeping.
Posted by Jill | 5:37 AM
Nicholas Kristof (NYT link):
Then when she was 8 years old, her church began raising money to build wells in Africa through an organization called charity:water. Rachel was aghast when she learned that other children had no clean water, so she asked to skip having a ninth birthday party. In lieu of presents, she asked her friends to donate $9 each to charity:water for water projects in Africa.

Rachel’s ninth birthday was on June 12, and she had set up a birthday page on the charity:water Web site with a target of $300. Alas, Rachel was able to raise only $220 — which had left her just a bit disappointed.

Then, on July 20, as Rachel was riding with her family on the highway, two trucks collided and created a 13-car pileup. Rachel’s car was hit by one of the trucks, and although the rest of her family was unhurt, Rachel was left critically injured.

Church members and friends, seeking some way of showing support, began donating on Rachel’s birthday page — charitywater.org/Rachel — and donations surged past her $300 goal, and kept mounting. As family and friends gathered around Rachel’s bedside, they were able to tell her — even not knowing whether she couldn’t hear them — that she had exceeded the $47,544 that the singer Justin Bieber had raised for charity:water on his 17th birthday.

“I think she secretly had a crush on him, but she would never admit it,” her mom said. “I think she would have been ecstatic.”

When it was clear that Rachel would never regain consciousness, the family decided to remove life support. Her parents donated her hair a final time to Locks of Love, and her organs to other children. Word spread about Rachel’s last fund-raiser.

Contributions poured in, often in $9 increments, although one 5-year-old girl sent in the savings in her piggy bank of $2.27. The total donations soon topped $100,000, then $300,000. Like others, I was moved and donated. As I write this, more than $850,000 has been raised from all over the world, including donations from Africans awed by a little American girl who cared about their continent.

“What has been so inspiring about Rachel is that she has taught the adults,” said Scott Harrison, the founder of charity:water. “Adults are humbled by the unselfishness of this little girl.”

Yet this is a story not just of one girl, but of a generation of young people working creatively to make this a better world. Mr. Harrison is emblematic of these young people. Now 35, he established charity:water when he was 30, and it has taken off partly because of his mastery at social media. (He’s not as experienced in well-drilling, so the wells are actually dug by expert groups like International Rescue Committee.)

Youth activism has a long history, but this ethos of public service is on the ascendant today — and today’s kids don’t just protest against injustices, as my contemporaries did, but many are also remarkable problem-solvers.

As for Ms. Paul, she’s planning a trip on the anniversary of her daughter’s death next year to see some of the wells being drilled in Africa in her daughter’s name. “It’ll be overwhelming to see Rachel’s wells,” she said, “to see what my 9-year-old daughter has done for people all over the world, to meet the people she has touched.&

A child should not have to die for people to recognize that the value of the lives and health of those less fortunate is no less than those who already have more money than they and their heirs could spend in dozens of lifetimes. If we lived in a sane world, the froth-mouthed hatemongers who at the behest of greedy bastards like the Koch brothers want to see children go without food, and the elderly, poor, and sick go without a roof over their heads and life-saving medicines and nourishment would be touched by this.

But they won't be.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share
Anonymous Anonymous said...
While this is very touching and we certainly need more of it, I want to know "where is all the Muslim money"? Where are all these Muslim charities we heard so much about after 9-11? Those charities that were the recipients of all the money that those of us of only normal intelligence assumed was going to finance AlQueda and similar groups?

The US is currently the single largest contributor to the welfare of those displaced by the East African drought, famine, and civil wars. Hundreds of US citizens are at risk daily while helping those in the refugee camps there. Africans are even sending money to US charities since they know it will be used properly.

Since most of those countries are at least majority Muslim -- and it happens to be Ramadan this month -- where are all these charities that have supposedly been so richly endowed? Why hasn't Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States not sent $1billion or so? And pledged another billion? Why haven't _they_ fully funded charity:water for 20 years?