For those who know me, you are aware that I don’t really do Christmas, but some still insist on getting me things I don’t really want or need. Please, consider donating to Chernobyl Children’s Project International (CCPI) instead. I’m trying to raise $300 – the cost of a single Gore-Tex heart patch used in the life-saving operations performed on children with “Chernobyl Heart.” It’s not much – the cost of the full operation to save just one child is $1,500 – but it’s a good start. You can see pictures of some of the children who have had this surgery here.
UPDATE: The pledge to raise $300 was successful. In less than 6 months, we’ve more than doubled the amount of money raised through the Facebook application, but the journey doesn’t end here. Please feel free to continue donating as often – and as generously – as you can.
Take some time to watch this clip from the HBO documentary Chernobyl Heart to get a better understanding of why this inspires me to action. In the years since I’ve seen it, many of the stories and images still haunt me. If you are interested, there is a link below the video to the full 39-minute documentary.
Here’s a promotional video put together by CCPI that explains what they do:
Lastly, a photo essay, Chernobyl Legacy by Paul Fusco, may be viewed by clicking this photo:
My buddy Shawn graciously started off my fundraising pledge with a $25 donation and a blog post about it, so great kudos to him for helping to raise money and spread the word.
If you are interested in learning more about what happened in Chernobyl, the Wikipedia page is good for a general overview, and Chernobyl.info has more in-depth information. I’d also highly recommend looking at the photo essay done in 2004 by a woman who calls herself Kidd Of Speed (real name Elena Filatova); it shows what a desolate wasteland Chernobyl remains today. There are similar photographs in the gallery at Chernobyl 20, an exhibit dedicated to showing the lasting effects of what happened. A news article from 2006 investigates whether more disaster is possible at the Chernobyl site. More recently, studies have shown that the effects of Chernobyl are worse than originally thought, causing mutations in the wildlife that roams free in the contaminated area.
This is entirely a man-made disaster. Human effort built the reactor. Human error was responsible for the failure. Human shame and greed covered up what really happened and human ignorance and apathy have contributed to the continuing problems that exist today, over 20 years since the event. Please help spread the word and make this small difference in our world. These children never asked to have these health problems, nor were they given a fair chance by the government and citizens who were supposed to help protect them.
What you can do:
- Read the CCPI blog
- Follow the CCPI on Twitter
- Join the CCPI via the Facebook Causes application
- Become a fan of the CCPI on Facebook
- Buy a CCPI shirt via the CCPI store on Zazzle
- Watch CCPI vides on YouTube
But most importantly, you can donate to the cause. Many charities and non-profits which receive mainstream attention, sexy celebrity endorsements, telethons, commercials and documentaries have massive budgets and can afford to make a major difference in the world. CCPI does not have this luxury, so whatever you can do to raise funds and awareness is greatly, greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and attention.