Helping Haiti

Haiti rescue workersWays to peel the onion

The internet’s tangles recently caught me up in the discovery of Cleavage, a blog by one Kelly Diels. Never mind your twinge at the word (go there and find out all about it, if you haven’t already. I’ll wait. She’s worth it.)

What’s significant here is 1) the title, posts, and author exemplify a delicious height of literary skill; and 2) Kelly urges us, in her home page post, to participate in helping the people of Haiti, even though we may be broke.

Kelly suggests that entrepreneurs offer to donate to a Haiti relief fund the fee or part of the fee for whatever they have to sell to the next whatever number of customers. To those of us who are barely affording rent, making a cash contribution seems out of our range. But when you put it in ‘in-kind’ terms like this, possibilities abound.

Kelly’s logic in conceiving the benefit is slightly flawed. If you’re going to purchase something because your fee will be given to a cause, why not just give to the cause outright? If I’m going to offer to give my fee to the relief effort, why don’t I just give the cash?

But logic is not the whole story when it comes to earthquakes, and poverty, and human rights, and certainly not when it comes to marketing.

I am, therefore, accepting Kelly’s challenge and making you an offer. There are several not-necessarily-rational motivating factors for me:

  • I am struggling financially: I can’t give cash, but time is something I can share;
  • I remember giving to Haiti from UNICEF collections at Halloween when I was a child: the country had an early importance to me;
  • The right thing is for every single one of us to give something, to send real healing in some way to the Haitians; and
  • Kelly Diels is one helluva writer.

So. In short:

Starting at the publication of this post, for the first two customers who contract with me to create a Facebook Fan Page, I will donate my full fee ($100) in their name to the Red Cross.

Any questions? Oh, please email me at mary at writingva dot com. Together, we’ll get something done here.