A time to CARE | AspenTimes.com

A time to CARE

In the face of everything that happened, we are having a not-too-bad ski season. We welcomed visitors from all over the world, skied, dined and sat in our hot tubs and gazed with wonder at the stars.

Across the world in Afghanistan innocent refugees, men, women and children have looked up at the same stars in a similar climate to ours without power, running water or food, and tried to fall asleep in the snow, many without even a pair of shoes. Hard to imagine as we climb into our cozy beds.

I read in this month’s edition of Time magazine about the tireless efforts of Bono from the rock band U2 to raise money and awareness of the situation in Africa. Working with Congress, the pope, the Bill Gates Foundation, the U.N., President Clinton and others, he has achieved the most amazing breakthroughs, including forgiveness of interest on loans to Third World countries.

His actions made me feel good about being a human being and inspired me to think about what can I do. My first reaction was, “Nothing, I’m just one person and the problems are too big.” Then I remembered the words, “It only takes good people to do nothing for ‘evil’ to prosper,” and realized that I can at least share information.

All over the country there are emergency fund-raising efforts to feed, clothe and shelter kids in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and we have an Aspen-area emergency fund drive. Aspen is known for many things around the world, and we are criticized by many from within and without, but one thing I have seen is the generosity of its residents and part-time residents to support good causes.

The charity I have mentioned is called CARE. They are endorsed by the CBBB (Charitable Better Business Bureau) wise giving guide and have achieved 91 percent of donations to program activities, with 9 percent going to administration and fund raising. Not a bad record.

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A friend of mine said to me, “Don’t tell me about this, tell the government.” I thought about that and realized the government already knows!

Knowing that 8 cents provides a hot nutritious meal for one hungry, hurting child and $15 feeds 180 hungry children, I knew what I had to do. I’m not trying to guilt-trip anyone, just passing on information.

America can still be a great idea, and this may be one way to prevent more September 11ths from happening. CARE can be reached at P.O. Box 8767, Philadelphia, PA 19101-8767. For information, call 1-800-422-7385.

Richard Harris

Aspen

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