I’m in the US at present, visiting Johns Hopkins University. This kind of visit usually involves plenty of opportunities for eating and drinking, not so many for exercise. To push myself into activity, I’ve signed up for a half-marathon to be run in Philadelphia on 19 November.
That seems like a good occasion for a fundraiser. I know it’s not long since the last one, but I’ve picked a really good cause, namely relief efforts for the East Africa Famine. I’ve set up a fundraising page on Everyday Hero, with a convenient link to the left. The money goes to CARE, and I’ll write to them to ask them to put it towards their East Africa Appeal. But if you prefer to give to another charity engaged in the same effort, or even some other cause altogether.
I’ve put some thoughts about the famine over the fold. However, I’d prefer to keep the comments thread for posts regarding contributions to the appeal, other ways to help and so on. Negative comments will be deleted with prejudice. I’ll open a sandpit soon for people who want to argue about the issues hopefully as well as, and not instead of, contributing to the appeal.
Update As pointed out by commenter Peter Rickwood, the Australian government will match our contributions dollar for dollar. And all Australian donations are tax deductible. So, for someone lucky enough to be in the top tax bracket, you can give $4 worth of help for every $1 of post-tax income you forgo. A dollar a day is all it takes to feed a hungry child, so $100 of consumption forgone is enough to feed a child for a year. You don’t get an offer like that every day! It’s such a good deal, I’ve put some money in to start the ball rolling. End update
The famine has been triggered by a terrible drought. The drought may or may not have been exacerbated by human-caused climate change, but nearly all famines are caused as much by war and oppression as by crop failure, and this is certainly the case here. The multiple wars going on in this part of the world mean that those engaged in relief efforts are taking big risks, as are people trying to make it to places where they can get help. These wars (like nearly all wars) are pointless squabbles over nearly worthless pieces of land, or totally worthless religions and ideologies, but the very desperation of the situation makes the resort to war seem worthwhile.
PS I hope you like the inspirational image on the right, which is the Everyday Hero default. They suggest adding a personalised image, and closer to the day I will probably post a picture of myself, stumbling across the finish line in some previous event. But for the moment, I think the default looks better.