Saturday, January 05, 2008


"...The first
day here, there was nobody..."

From "A Few Lines from Rehoboth Beach" by Fleda Brown


Rethabile Masilo posted some thoughtful remarks on my notion of getting books to Africa. He is from Lesotho, so has some first-hand knowledge of the issue.

Here's what Rethabile wrote.

And here's how you can do something now, today, this very moment, to help people fill their hunger for books.

Thanks, by the way, to Smiler, and Lee, and am for giving. And thanks to all those, known and unknown, who chose to help in other ways.


Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

"I thought
he must be painfully cold, but, I hear you say, he had
all the world emptied, to practice his smooth stand."

That's about the size of it sometimes, huh? In front of the page, or the canvas or whatever? (but damn, that water it git cold!)

Smiler said...

I wish there was something more I could do because that day that I posted about it, strangely there was not a single comment on that post and people were commenting on other posts instead. I found that a bit disheartening. Also, I wrote to firstgiving SEVERAL times last week (try: everyday) to see if something could be done about them making Paypal available but got nowhere. I think they were in fact giving me the runaround. I just wish I had a credit card so that counter would show more donations - would help things along I'm sure.

Lori Witzel said...

Smiler -- I hear ya.

I will reach out and pester FirstGiving directly -- I think the issue is licensing within the US states for charities. I read somewhere online that PayPal isn't able to meet the reporting requirements; I suspect it may be there's little profit in it for them.

And what's up with the "radio silence" about the topic once we found some ways to help? Disheartening indeed.

Must. Not. (Ow!) Grit. Teeth.

Few if any comments when we post about the chance to help.

I'm glad to have gotten Rethabile's kind and thoughtful insights.

I went ahead and donated again, in honor of my wonderful great-aunt, a retired teacher.

Am also seeing if the university I attend, which has a culture of social service, could amplify the effort.

Smiler said...

Sounds like you're in pain, or are you doing a little better? Yeah, about the lack of response, I think there are several factors at play. January is notorious in the publishing industry for being one of the worst months for magazines sales. Magazines sell for... what? Less than five dollars? Some of the ones I have a more expensive than hardcover books, but never mind that.

At this time of year people are cutting back on all non-essential expenditures because most have overextended their credit to celebrate Christmas (isn't that just... meshugene?). So there's that.

Then there's the fact that a lot of people don't trust or don't like charities. OR if they're like me, they choose one or more and they stick to those. I chose Unicef because they're well known and respected and I know they do in fact do a lot of good. So usually I don't give to other charities but of course there are always exceptions.

I thought about reposting... I made that great collage for it too! Took me hours! But I don't know how that would go down. Not like I have a lot to lose. But it's hard getting a comment out of most people, can you imagine money? Ugh. Never mind. I'm getting depressed about it all over again.

I did see you made a contribution because I checked the widget and when I saw that increase I got all excited and... well that's very generous of you of course. Might help though. Just seeing a smaller amount might help. Anyway. Sorry I'm blabbing.

Question been meaning to ask: what do you mean by "messes that out-mess even mine"?
(this is not a trick question btw).