I read today that there are multiple parking spots in lower Manhattan that sell for around $1 million dollars.
How insane is that? A parking spot. $1 million dollars to park your car.
I learned this as I was watching late night TV about a CIA agent who goes to work overseas in a war torn country.
I have a hard time watching TV and movies that feature war scenes where civilians are caught up in the fighting. Not because the gruesome cinematic graphics bother me (although after working in emergency medicine and international aid for almost ten years it does tend to hit close to home). But because I know those scenes are playing out in reality half a world away- RIGHT NOW.
As of April 2017, according to the IRIN interactive map, there were over 40, “active conflicts” in the world. And that doesn’t include areas that are impacted by terrorism or natural disasters. Over 40 different areas where mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers, son, cousins, neighbors and friends are all suffering as a result of war.
And in most of those areas access to medical care is limited to non-existent. So when a mortar comes through your roof, or your child catches a stray bullet during fighting, you’re stuck.
Once you’ve seen the catastrophic toll of war it’s not easily forgotten and for those of us who work in international aid, we are often left watching these terrible scenes unfold on News broadcasts and internet reports as we wrack our brains and try to figure out feasible ways to respond.
Because in all honesty it’s not our willingness to go that’s the problem, its money.
GRM is unique in the fact that we operate primarily with volunteers and over 90% of our funding goes directly towards operations and patient care. We believe that our efforts and funding need to be directed at operations not just sitting in a bank somewhere- and that doesn’t leave us a lot of wiggle room. Unlike other organizations that have wealthy famous donors or prime time advertising- it’s just us. A group of dedicated volunteers who decided we were going to make a difference in the world.
That’s it. That’s how this started.
In Mosul we received a grant from the World Health Organization and used those funds to save THOUSANDS of lives. In fact it’s estimated to be around 9,000+ (probably closer to 10,000 if we’re being honest).
But in order to keep that mission going: we need money.
Why? Because if we could pay for airline tickets, truck payments, translators and equipment with awesome bad-ass volunteers and kick ass attitudes- we would. And we’d be rich!
But we can’t.
So I’m back to $1 million dollar parking spots. Do you know what we could do with $1 million dollars?
We could fund the startup to every operation we’ve ever considered.
We could send response teams to places like Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Venezuela. We could fund projects that help end the cycles of poverty and illiteracy that contribute significantly to violence, extremism and crime.
We could fund midwife programs that teach local women how to safely deliver babies and provide prenatal care to help decrease infant mortality in already suffering areas.
We could educate local populations on Stop-the-bleed training to increase trauma survival in hard to reach areas torn up by violence.
The list goes on… and on… and on…
We could do a lot of things with just $1 million dollars. So if you know someone with a parking spot in lower Manhattan that they’re willing to give up… let us know.
In the meantime, you can help by sharing our social media posts with your friends and starting the conversation about how we can truly help those affected by war and poverty. And if you’re interested in helping fund raise for us- email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get that ball rolling.