The second thing that bothers me about people’s reaction to what I do is their guilt. Sure, all of us could do more but not all of us can or should do the same things. People think that coming out here and volunteering is the pinnacle of commitment to the cause but I wouldn’t have been able to do this without all those people who quietly plug away, fundraising for organisations like All Hands, allowing them, and me, to keep doing what we do.
There’s a volunteer here on Project Tohoku whose friends raised over US$1900, bought a bunch of tools of the All Hands wishlist and had them shipped over. He’s giving his time and energy, his friends gave him the things he needed to work harder! Some people give money, some share their contacts and influence, some lend us things, some buy us things, some show us work, some help us engage with the community. All these things come together to make a successful project.
To those people who are doing nothing: there is always something you can do. I don’t believe that you have no money, no time, no contacts and no skills.
To those people who are doing something, whether you’re here volunteering or at home spreading the word or raising money or any one of a hundred other things: thank you!