For as long as I've known Dominicans I have been shocked and amazed by the patriotic ways of the vast majority. Sometimes I've looked down on this patriotism because I don't think of a place as much more than a place, but a good portion of the time I wish I could be a little more like that. As I've stated before, my Dominicanness is not something I feel I have ingrained in me but something I am by mere coincidence.
I see people as people and places as places. In my opinion, where you are from means nothing but the kind of person you are is everything and a place can be lovely but where you are is more relevant than where you are from or where you have been.
I was raised to believe that when bad things happen you should always help regardless of where these things are happening. You should be proactive and share yourself as well as everything you have to offer to improve things. I have always tried to live in this way. This time is no exception.
Tropical storm Noel pounded the Dominican Republic a few days ago. It caused an incredible amount of damage and hurt a lot of people. After talking to my family and getting a grasp on the situation that nobody will ever get by watching CNN alone, I decided to raise some money and send it back there. I didn't set out to raise a million dollars, but I figured that if every patriotic Dominican I know gave up their morning coffee for a day we could make someone's life a little bit better.
So this morning sent an email to every Dominican and DR lover I know here in Miami as well as
in other states and I waited for their response.
At first it seemed promising. I managed to raise $200 and get pledges for some stuff within an hour but then it stopped. Nobody will even talk to me- at least not about that...
The irony behind all this is that the people who have made a donation and those who have pledged to help aren't even Dominicans (except for like 2 people). I don't even know if they donated because I asked them or because they actually care...
It's nice to say you feel certain things but sometimes you have to literally put your money where your mouth is. I wasn't asking for $100...I appreciated $1 just the same!
All of the Dominicans I have met here have been part of a privileged bunch. They still have a few days left to join me in my efforts. I hope they will show worthiness of such privileges by helping their compatriots in need.