Monday, January 18, 2010

Rising to the Occasion, and Living the Dream

On January 15, 1968, Dr. King spent his entire birthday in the basement of Ebenezer Baptist Church. He was there all day with white activists from Appalachia, and Latinos, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native-Americans and other groups from around the United States. He believed in understanding the color-specific differences that make us unique, and vigorously embracing the color-blind commonalities that bring us together.

And at this very moment in time, Dr. King would be immensely proud of how international citizens, through the power of technology, have marshaled tremendous resources to help the island nation of Haiti. From Alyssa Milano’s wonderful $50,000 Tweet challenge, to the upcoming telethon George Clooney is organizing in concert with MTV Networks, socially conscious celebrities are also lending a hand.

However, Dr. King would be most proud of the dedication, and creative thinking, many nonprofits and charities are employing to assist Haiti. Care, The Red Cross, OxFam, Charity: Water, Yele, and so many others are making a difference. The most powerful way they’re making a difference is through the successful fundraising campaign involving texting. The Denver-based mGive Foundation is running the campaign for Haitian Relief. In fact, they raise money on behalf of 200 charitable organizations by text messaging.

Tens of millions have already been raised. According to the social media website Mashable, more than $20 million was raised on January 17 alone after it urged its readers to give generously. All of this speaks volumes about the human spirit, and the power of social networking sites.

Parts of this glorious, beautiful world have always been in pain. This is what fueled Dr. King’s thought-provoking sermons; his well-attended marches; and his awe-inspiring acts of civil disobedience. He felt connected to the world’s pain. He believed that forming constructive partnerships was the best way to affect change. The texting campaign for Haiti would most certainly qualify.

We can use this method of charitable fundraising going forward to not only rebuild Haiti, but to also relieve the human suffering and degradation that exists in every corner of the globe. Embrace. Empower. Educate. Expand. Enlighten. Let's do it.

Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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