Today I made my first charitable donation of 2006, to the Invisible Children organization. Thier mission is “dedicated to providing financial resources to invisible children by documenting their true, untold stories in a creative and relevant way, resulting in positive change.” The organization is helping to provide jobs and education to families displaced by the 20-year war in Africa. I first became aware of this issue when I read Philip Gourevitche’s stunning book, “We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families.” The book was so emotionally shocking that I had to periodically stop reading it for a few days just to give myself time to grieve over the tragedy. I also heard Philip Gourevitch a few months ago in Chicago, where he held an open Q&A session. The information is hard to hear, primarily because the cruelty of this war is on par with the Holocaust, and secondly because I felt so utterly unable to stop it.
The Invisible Children Movement will be hosting a Night Commute in Chicago on April 29. In northern Uganda, there are tens of thousands of children who are so terrified of being murdered in their beds that they are forced to commute from their rural homes to the city every night, where they sleep in the street and walk back home every morning. The Night Commute in Chicago will include a 10-mile walk down Lakeshore Drive at night, ending at Grant Park, where participants will sleep in the park to raise awareness of the issue.
I will be unable to take part in this great event, so instead I made a $10 donation today. This donation came out of my allowance, so it’s not part of our household budget. Together we usually make several donations per year from our joint account, but we also each make a few donations out of our allowances to support organizations we feel strongly about.