So, I know a lot of people are cash poor, I certainly am. I also know that there are a lot of people who want to help when simply awful things happen, like the flooding in Pakistan.
Sometimes people come together and make a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Help Haiti did that. It raised over $115,000 in just a few weeks. All by matching up people with goods or services they could donate and people who wanted to buy them.
Help Pakistan is trying to do this. It's a new LiveJournal community hosting an auction for flood relief efforts. No money ever changes hands between offerer and winning bidder. Everything goes directly to the aid organizations which can be selected off a master list.
I'm offering up two "swap" boxes of fibery goodness. I did one for Help Haiti and it went over well so I decided to offer them again, this time with the option of spinning fiber. It's all the fun of getting a swap with no risk. My listing can be seen here: Yarny Fibery Swap/Mystery Boxes
This was my Help Haiti swap box (less a knitted tea cozy that was still drying when I took the picture).
The recipient and I overlapped in Harry Potter interest, so I was able to add lots of little doodads to the box to give it character.
Help Pakistan is taking listings starting today, and on Monday the 23rd it opens up for bidding. People can still list new offerings once the bidding has started, the few days lead time is just so the offerings can build up a bit. ETA: They've opened bidding early. Listing new things will be open through the 27th, and bidding ends the 28th. Delivery of offerings is expected by Oct. 1. end ETA
I hope you'll take a look. These auctions are usually lots of fun to browse; the scope of the offerings can be astounding. And please do spread the word if you can. It takes a critical mass of interest both in offering and in bidding to get these things really rolling.
There are a lot of disasters right now. The flooding and landslides in China come to mind, too. It's not on the same scale as Pakistan, but it's still horrible. It's hard to say "I can't help." I have a roof over my head and all the comforts of home, but my reality is that I can't spare the cash. But I can spare the stash, and the effort, and some base yarn or fiber to dye up something custom. So, this is what I'm doing.