I promise I’m not soapboxing and I promise I’m not going to shove down your throat every good cause that I come across, but I wanted to highlight that Waterstones’ Buy Books for Syria initiative starts in the UK today. Effectively, you buy a qualifying book from a Waterstones store and the full price goes to Oxfam for them to put to use in their efforts to help those people fleeing the conflict in Syria.
Having seen first-hand some of those affected while in Greece this summer, the sheer scale of this crisis really does dwarf any attempt at a rational or an intelligent response. It is tempting and entirely understandable to feel helpless and ineffective in the face of such magnitudes of pain and sorrow, and to therefore not feel that anything you can do – puny old you, all on your own – will make any difference at all. If something like this will help give people a way to feel less bewildered, and so incentivise them into contributing, surely it must be a good thing.