kos kindness.

Monday, 7 September 2015

before i would read about the refugee crisis and feel sadness at their plight, i signed petitions and donated some money here and there.  nothing more strenuous than that though.  i understood that these things are quite controversial and everyone has their own opinion, which is, of course, completely their right.  i usually tried to avoid posting too much about stuff like this both on personal and public forums.  i didn't want to push anyone away that may have had a different opinion to me.

but as with many people, the picture of 3 year old alan kurdi washed up on the turkish beach has pushed me over the edge.  any parent will look at that image and feel the same thing.  it made me realise that i had to do more and i didn't care if people disagreed with me.  that's their right.  but i am ashamed that it has taken something so tragic to make me do so.  it should've happened long before.

but it is happening now and that's what matters.  myself and a friend, pam, spent a couple of dates collecting donations for a charity in kos, greece, called kos kindness that distributes essentials to the refugees that have arrived there.  there is a large number of children and babies there who have, fortunately, survived the crossing.  the whole thing was masterminded by a wonderful lady called rosie, who runs the sheffield sling surgery here in sheffield, which helps parents who want to learn or improve their knowledge about slings and baby-wearing.  we reached out to our friends and to the local children's centre and had such an amazing response. then we, along with rosie and a handful of volunteers, spent sunday afternoon at hq (aka rosie's house) sorting through bags and bags of donations and getting them ready to be sent down to kos.  by the end we had 130 boxes of nappies, clothes, toiletries, wipes and many other things ready to go.

kos kindness has a facebook page here.  if you are in a position to, and would like to, please do whatever you can to help.

after shedding an awful lot of tears for poor alan and just the situation and how shitty this world is, i found myself shedding tears of happiness at the good that there is too.  i find these days that i try to avoid the stories of hardship and hatred, purely because it is just too hard on me.  i am now reading stories of people doing amazing things to help.  still crying lots though.

we are so lucky to live in safety and security and not to ever have to even contemplate risk and danger of this sort.  we have what we need and more.  i consider it my responsibility and my hope that i will always be able to share with those less fortunate.  i also feel that it is my duty to teach cole about kindness and compassion, and not to take anything for granted.  i hope to bring him up seeing small acts of kindness on a daily basis so that he too will continue it on once he is old enough to decide how he wants to spend his time and money.

here are some reminders of the people we are helping.  remember that: they are people, not a swarm or a horde or a mass.  each one has a story and memories, favourite foods and movies, just like you and me.  and each one has the right to live and thrive, free from danger, and to the pursuit of happiness, just like you and me.

daniel etter.

kos kindess.
washington post.

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