We struggled with our decision to kickoff the 2020 We Care Wednesday* initiative by fundraising for a nonprofit outside of our community. The truth is that there are so many programs and people that need funding. The devastation in Australia is far too big to ignore and in the face of a global disaster we can (and should) respond in every possible way that we can. The climate crisis doesn't recognize borders or governments.
We are half way around the globe from Australia. We don't want to add to the very factors that exacerbate the conditions causing these fires. We have decided that sending money is the best way that we as an organization can help communities dealing with this crisis. According to the Red Cross, "donations of money, where possible, help affected communities recover sooner. This is because people can make their own choices – including purchasing the goods they need for their own families." We have chosen the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal as the recipient of our January fundraising efforts. FRRR makes grants to local not-for-profit groups for community-led projects that address the most pressing needs that emerge 12-18 months after a disaster event. FRRR has a long history of supporting disaster preparedness and assisting affected communities to recover. Since 2006, FRRR has distributed more than $19 million in grants to communities amidst their recovery from natural disasters.
The climate crisis is overwhelming. We know we aren't alone in wondering if we can ever do enough. In 2020 we'll be tackling the climate crisis in Book Club and we hope you'll join us by reading twelve books wherever you are. And here is one of our favorite New York Times Magazine articles from Michael Pollan, Why Bother? (2008) "There are so many stories we can tell ourselves to justify doing nothing, but perhaps the most insidious is that, whatever we do manage to do, it will be too little too late. Climate change is upon us, and it has arrived well ahead of schedule.[...]Whatever we can do as individuals to change the way we live at this suddenly very late date does seem utterly inadequate to the challenge. For us to wait for legislation or technology to solve the problem of how we’re living our lives suggests we’re not really serious about changing–something our politicians cannot fail to notice. They will not move until we do."
*Since launching the We Care Wednesday initiative in January 2017 we have donated over $29,500 to a variety of nonprofits doing essential work in our community as well as other places. From the Mayor's Disaster Fund to Girls Rock Boston to Food for Free and RAICES-Texas. We select organizations that we feel represent not only our commitment to a better, more equitable world but also our desire to "do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."