The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

World in Crisis

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

World in Crisis

My apologies for this being strictly speaking, off topic. I spent the morning reading the news from around the World as I do every day. I couldn't help but notice the suffering occurring in so many places. At home our food costs have nearly doubled in the last few Months making subsistence difficult for a large part of our population. All around the World people are struggling to feed their families with basic bread items.

The Typhoon in Myanmar is unimaginable in scope and human suffering. Made worse by the ruling military.

China is dealing with a building monumental disaster that is far worse than has been reported I am certain.

We are so fragile in our splendor. So helpless against nature.

Please reach out and do what you can to help your fellow man. We are so fortunate, find a way,  please. Make a donation to the Mercy Corp or Red Cross or any of the large known agencies. Bake for a homeless shelter. Do something today, and again tomorrow.

Respectfully,
Eric

staff of life's picture
staff of life

Amen, Eric.  We are so fortunate that we have the means to help so many people.  And it doesn't even require a huge amount of resources to help.  Small donations or gifts can change the life of someone in need, too.

SOL

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Well said, Eric.

I've been neglecting TFL recently because I am swamped at work trying to help fundraise for these emergencies. As Eric says, those of us fortunate enough to be surfing TFL should all be counting our blessings.

If you want to keep tabs on what Mercy Corps is doing, take a look at our China Earthquake, Myanmar Cyclone, and Global Food Crisis pages. We are also being featured on Google for our efforts in China.

As Eric says, The Red Cross, Save the Children, Ox Fam, and many other aid agencies are also doing outstanding work getting food and medicine where it is needed right now too. Helping any of these organizations is appreciated.

Brian D's picture
Brian D

your donations and gifts from reaching those intended. Especially China where any donation made, the vast majority goes to the government's coffers and military. Not trying to diminish what good deeds you are doing, but think first before saying "poor dears" and giving things that could be used here to help our own people.

I applaude you willingness to help and encourage those that want to help to do so, but I caution you against just giving to anyone. There are a lot of scam organizations out there, and unfortunately some are considered legitimate.

Excellent post, Eric. 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I can't speak for other aid agencies, but at least Mercy Corps has been working with local agencies in Sichuan for years. We have people on the ground there and local partners to work with. I am confident that the vast majority of donations made to us are *not* going to the government's coffers or the military. I am certain that all credible aid agencies do everything they can to get their aid to the people who really need it though, admittedly, sometimes that is difficult.

Speaking for myself and not Mercy Corps (though I believe this is consistent with Mercy Corps' core values): suffering is suffering where ever it occurs. The death of child is no less of a tragedy to a parent living under an oppressive regime than it is in a democracy. I don't see it as being about helping "us" or "them", it is about helping alleviate suffering whereever it is needed. While of course there are people in need here, there is suffering on a catastrophic level elsewhere right now, and small efforts we can make may save hundreds more lives if we can prevent things like malaria and cholera outbreaks.

We prove ourselves to be bigger people when we reach out and help those suffering most even if we do not see eye-to-eye with them or their governments.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I have close friends who work in Myanmar and through them have learned about the lives of their friends, neighbors, coworkers, local shopkeepers, and so on. I have never been there and probably never will be able to go, but I feel sadness whenever something like this happens. I gave Floyd's organization a donation and I hope they can get it into Myanmar effectively (per my friends it is extermely difficult for any effective aid to get in from Atlantic nations).

sPh

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Thank you.

Brian D's picture
Brian D

I totally understand, Floyd. I'm not disagreeing with you one bit, just saying to exercise caution.

And as for knowing how it feels to lose a child, I have first hand knowledge. Death is very indiscriminate.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I'm so sorry.

Sites like Charity Navigator can be very helpful in making sure your dollars go to groups that will put them to good use.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

Is it because bread is life?  Is that what makes you such a giving group?  I am humbled by all of you, inspired by you, because you give the world hope.  If I could find the money to give, I would give it, but I can't, so instead I will reach out to someone who needs it and give my bread.  Thank you.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Charity begins in the heart. A gift of bread is life itself. I was greatly moved by the events in Myanmar, China and simply everyday life in the bakery in Algeria. We can afford to donate a bit and so a contribution has been sent to Mercy Corps.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Paddyscake, you are an inspiration. We also are making a contribution to Mercy Corps and a local food bank here. When I read today that 7000 Schools were toppled in the quake, it brings home the massive amount of suffering that is occurring. Never mind why the losses were so heavy among school buildings. That is for others to sort out. I want to do what I can to offer our support in some small way here.

It would be fitting if this group of Artisan bakers from all over the World could manage to pledge a significant sum in aid. Many of us are trying to recreate the breads of our forefathers in tribute to thousands of years of production of the most basic food of life. I think our hearts are in the right place to make a difference.

I'm not bashful about ringing the bell here for this cause. Let's pitch in and show Mercy Corps we are here for more than Floyd's fantastic web site and the free knowledge we have all gleaned. Floyd has worked tirelessly for us, we all are getting the equivalent of an advanced degree in Baking here. You know Floyd would never ask himself and he's probably tapping his foot now that I am out front on this. let's take this opportunity to thank him in a caring and loving way. Please, give what ever you can.

Eric

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I read that stat about the schools in the paper today too. Adding to the horror is that the majority of those families only had a single child. Almost all of them gone. It is a tragedy on a scale unimaginable.

Your kind words and support are greatly appreciated, Eric. And everyone else. I am constantly amazed at the compassion and support that the community members here provide for one another. I feel truly blessed.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Thank you, Paddyscake.