Disaster brings out the best in people | PostIndependent.com

Disaster brings out the best in people

Don’t you find it amazing to see, time after time, how quickly people rally to help others in times of trouble?Without sounding too much like a Beatles song, I’m talking about the recent worldwide efforts to help the hundreds of thousands of people who have been homeless since the tsunami struck South Asia a few weeks ago.The call has gone out internationally for money to help feed, clothe and provide shelter for those caught in the tsunami – and to help in the overwhelming task of creating order out of rubble. The world has responded in ways large and small. Last Sunday, my husband, Erik, and I watched a tsunami relief concert on TV. The show had feeds from L.A., New York and London, and featured high-quality clips showing some of the adults and children who had lost everything – their children, their parents, what few belongings they had. Artists such as Eric Clapton, Annie Lennox and Lenny Kravitz played live, with just their instruments accompanying them, while actors such as Johnny Depp, Renee Zellweger and Danny DeVito answered phones set up to accept donations from viewers calling in. This event worked because these Hollywood folks – oftentimes known more for their overblown egos than their genuine willingness to lend a hand – were looking beyond themselves to something else, to someone else who needed their help. Here in the Roaring Fork and upper Colorado river valleys, people are helping, too. Debbie Pennington from Snowmass Village founded a nonprofit organization called Grassroots Asia in 2003 to provide emergency relief, basic care and education for children and the underprivileged. She left Colorado on Dec. 30, days after the tsunami hit, to spend two months in Asia helping with relief efforts.There have been smaller ways of helping too. Megan Johnson, who works at our classified ad department, took it upon herself to start up a tsunami relief fund through the Glenwood Post Independent and Citizen Telegram. So far, locals have donated more than $2,400 to the fund.And Keely Tuttle lives on Silt Mesa with her two children her husband Jonas, and a bunch of bichon frisé dogs (you know, the four-legged cotton puffballs). She and I met last summer when my mother got her very own puffball named Casper from the Tuttles. Knowing that I work for the local newspapers, Keely e-mailed me about having a yard sale in Silt to help with tsunami relief efforts. All proceeds will go to AmeriCares, a nonprofit emergency relief organization with teams all over Asia. “Our family was only able to donate a small amount of cash to the relief efforts,” she wrote me. “While talking to our children about the importance of opening your heart when tragedy strikes, we decided to think of a way to raise money. What do we have that we could give? Our time and a little effort was the answer.”Isn’t it amazing what people will do for each other when given the opportunity? From Hollywood to Silt Mesa and everywhere in between, these kinds of efforts renew my faith in humankind.The town of Silt has donated the use of the Silt Community Center, 452 Grand Ave. in Silt, to the Tsunami Relief Community Yard Sale Fundraiser, which will take place Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 22-23. Yard sale items are needed; please bring clean items (children’s clothing, adult clothing, kitchen items, yard items, etc.) from noon to 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 21. Price tags will be provided. For more info, contact Keely Tuttle at 876-5133. Carrie Click is the editor of The Citizen Telegram in Rifle. She’s excited about Keely’s yard sale so she can clear out her closets, bookcases and storage areas, and because it’s another way to help. Carrie can be reached at 625-3245, ext. 101, cclick@citizentelegram.com.

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