Over the years, I have had at least three campaigns to solicit money from coworkers, friends and over the Internet to help few people for different purposes. First was for Lukas Mbira, to help his family during the operation to remove a 10 lbs tumor from his neck. Lukas was from Sumba island in the same province as my old home town. Then, together with friends from Bolelebo mailing list, we collected money for a college student from Yogyakarta to pay her late tuitions and preventing her from being dismissed from the college. She went to my alma mater but to a different department. The last one was the solicitation to help the operation of baby Gratia that you could find in various postings from October 2007 archives.
When I received an email about Theresia, I told the folks in my mailing list, sorry, I couldn’t do it this time. I don’t have time to pursue. Promising to helping people doesn’t mean writing a story of the cause, post it on your blog then forget about it. You have to follow up with the updates on the recipient’s condition etc., and those tasks take a lot of times. Not only that, it was a stressful task as I found out during the course of helping baby Gratia. On one hand you knew that they really need money, but on the other hand you also saw the fact that that money you expected to come wasn’t there day after day you after you started your campaign. Fortunately in baby Gratia’s case, finally some generous and kind hearted people picked up the tabs and at the end, they could cover all the expenses for the surgery and that was a success story. In January 24th, I posted the latest pictures of baby Gratia as well as the happy faces of her Mom and Dad.
The second reasons I could not do it this time because now I’m not alone. There are many other bloggers from my old home town scattered all over the globe, including the up and coming leader in cyber space from my old home town, Kabar NTT blog. Most of them have followed Lukas and Gratia’s cases and knew what I was doing during that time. Now, I think it’s their turn to pick up the torch.
However, one thing I just learned a month or two ago that sometime a social network such as twitter could help. I just joined twitter yesterday after reading Doug Karr’s posting. When I saw Doug’s post, I remember Rick Julian’s posting I found from bloggingzoom few weeks ago. That was the reason I wrote this posting to see if any of my visitors would provide any suggestion on what else could we do to help this little girl Theresia, who was born in June 10, 2007 to a farmer family in a small town near my old home town and suffers from a disturbing disease of enlarging head. They still need another Rp 12,000,000.00 for the cost of taking her to get a treatment. Yes, that is twelve million Indonesian Rupiah, which is around $1,200.00 to get her from my old home town in Kupang, Timor to a hospital in Surabaya, Indonesia, so that the doctors in a better hospital could take care of her enlarging head. That is a 3-4 hours flight.
I did post the story that was appeared in my old home town newspaper, Pos Kupang (sorry, it’s in Indonesian or Bahasa Indonesia) in my Indonesian language blog. But beside a Timorese friend from Swiss that had responded to the appeal, the over all response from my mailing list or the blog was not good. Furthermore, in contrast to Lukas and Gratia’s cases where I could find some pictures of them, Pos Kupang didn’t provide the picture of this young baby Theresia. That certainly would not help the case to solicit help from others in a far away place like us here in the U.S. For most of the Pos Kupang readers, may be this isn’t matter. For me, I could simply call my brothers or sisters or any of my nieces and nephews back there in my old hometown and ask them to investigate for me. However, again that shows that this is a long and time consuming works that I need to be on top of it all the times suppose I want to handle it like in Lukas and Gratia’s cases.
One thing for sure though, while this kind of charity work show our concern, our passion, except the case of Gratia, so far the result was not that great that I thought it would be much better for me to use my time wisely. I was also wondering if it’s time for me to listen to the wisdom of Wallace D. Wattles for example, and let the charity organization or the government take care of this matter, until I could do more charity works on my own without soliciting from other people that are tired for the solicitations all year long.
What do you think?