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Say what you want about Big Blue Nation — just don’t call us uncaring.
Along with guiding the Wildcats to an 18-0 record, being the only unbeaten team left in the nation and propelling the team to (what will inevitably be) a No. 1 ranking, John Calipari and his behind-the-scenes team organized the “Hoops for Haiti” telethon that raised over $1 million for the Red Cross to provide help in Haiti.
One. Million. Dollars.
Sure, there were several big name donors and half of the money was a match from a group of businesses, but the grand total is still unfathomable to me. A million dollars is probably more than I’ll see in a lifetime, yet Big Blue Nation and its supporters managed to raise that sum in about five hours.
The latest counts estimate that the 7.0 earthquake left 200,000 dead and 1.5 million homeless. While I know $1 million is only a fraction of what will be needed to help this country, it still makes me darn proud to be a Kentucky fan.
I confess, I did not donate during Sunday’s telethon — I donated beforehand, and I encourage everyone who can to do the same.
In the words of Danyelle Kincaid, a Frankfort mother who was in Haiti before and after the earthquake and saw the devastation first hand, “Haiti needs more than help, it needs our love. And I know everyone has that to give. If you don’t have anything material, give your prayers.”
Something that stands out to me about this disaster is that a few days before the quake in Haiti, a 6.5 earthquake struck in Eureka, Calif. Only slightly less powerful, the quake knocked out power and sent around 30 people to hospitals with minor injuries, according to several media reports.
There was some cleanup required, but there really is no comparison between the two.
Haiti was a country in desperate need before this earthquake, and the need has intensified since.
American missionaries have been pleading that we not forget this country — and others like it — when the initial media coverage dies down. While we can’t always give as much as we want, Danyelle is right — prayers are free and can be shared at any time.
So, the next time you’re watching Wildcat basketball and praying the team stays unbeaten, realize that we’re part of a bigger “Big Blue Nation” of sorts and keep those in need, in Haiti and elsewhere, in your thoughts and prayers.
Follow Shannon Brock at Twitter.com/ANewsSBrock.