In times of disaster, Amazon has dedicated homepage placement and donated use of their payments technology to the American Red Cross. Amazon.com customers have contributed more than $35 million to global relief programs since 2001.
2001: $6.9 million contributed for 9/11 relief in the U.S.
2004: $15.7 million contributed for tsunami relief in South/SE Asia
2005: $12.4 million contributed for Hurricane Katrina relief in the U.S.
2008: $180,000 contributed for Cyclone Nargis relief in Myanmar
and earthquake relief in China
2010: More than $750,000 contributed for earthquake relief in Haiti
$6.9 million for 9/11 relief is amazing. $15.7 and $12.4 million even more so. But why only $180,000 and $750,000 for Myanmar, China and Haiti? Can't book lovers do better than that? And can't we rally our book-buying dollars now, in the wake of the massive earthquake(s) and tsunami in Japan?
Let's think about this for a minute: how much money do we spend on books each month... each week? Do we even want to admit how much? Couldn't we each match our own book purchasing total and/or give up a week or two of book buying to help ease the suffering and devastation in Japan?
Some of you who are regular participants of In My Mailbox may not have much money – some bloggers post mostly ARCs, library books, gifts, etc. I challenge you to give what you can. Even just text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. Most of us can probably spare the cost of a single new book.
But those of us who have jobs (even low-paying jobs at libraries, non-profits, elementary schools, etc.) should think about this: if we have money to splurge (as we do) on books, can't we give up our indulgences every once in a while to help when a need like this arises? Many of us buy anywhere from four to twelve books a week that we post when we participate in IMM.
I'm going to go examine my Amazon credit card bill, determine what I spent on books within the past few weeks, and match the amount, donating to the Red Cross Fund for the victims of the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami through Amazon.
I’m not posting this because I want a pat on the back – I’m posting this because I want you to join me. Figure out an amount that you can give, then donate. It could be the cost of a single book or your whole book buying budget for a week or two. Then come back and leave a comment here for me, letting me know that you've decided to give up book buying for a week or two in order to help someone in Japan that just lost her home, her family. Survivors have been left without electricity, proper food, and even lack drinking water. They need some clean H20 more quickly than we need to get our hands on the latest copy of so-and-so's novel. No guilt, just a fact: we can always buy that book next week or the week after.
Please consider helping any way that you can: you could donate, repost this idea or a link to this post on your own blog, and/or pass this idea on to other book bloggers in any way that you can come up with. Retweet my idea. Let's see how many book bloggers can make a difference for the victims of the earthquake(s)/tsunami. And again, please drop me a note; I'd love to know how we all are trying to help.