Okay, I know this has nothing to do with baseball, the Blue Jays or anything else that we normally discuss here. It's about one of history's worst disasters, striking a part of the world so vulnerable in its poverty that it's hard for us to imagine how much they've lost. This is a plea for help.
You already know about the Sumatra Tsunami and the devastation it's caused in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and elsewhere. But you might not fully realize the long-term effects of this terrible event: farmland ruined for generations, painstakingly-dug wells filled with salt water and rendered useless; killer diseases poised to rip through tens of thouands of children; and the mind-boggling task of restoring millions of people just to their previous level of poverty.
Canadians have outstripped virtually every other country in per-capita donations, something of which we should all be proud. But it really is only the first step. Here are links to the donation sites of several charitable relief organizations; money given to these groups will be matched dollar for dollar by the federal government:
Canadian Red Cross
Medecin Sans Frontieres
Save The Children
World Vision Canada
If you've already made a donation by phone, mail or Internet, thank you, and be proud. If you haven't, or if you want to give again as the magnitude of the hurt is fully realized, please do so. Today. Right now. I know the Christmas season has just ended and many of us spent extensively on gifts, food, entertainment and travel. I know many of us are students or are between jobs. But this is an unprecedented disaster and an unprecedented opportunity to help. Anything you can give is all to the good -- but please give as much as you can.
A water purification tank, providing clean, drinkable water to as many as 750 people, costs just $2,800, according to an article in today's Globe. If the readers, users and lurkers of Batter's Box could pledge in this thread that amount of new money, that would stand out as the best thing this site has ever done. Please give, today. It's needed, badly.