eBay community raises cash for Haiti

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Haiti earthquake relief efforts from the US ArmyWe still don’t know how many people lost their lives when an earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday. And maybe the sheer numbers are just incomprehensible. Can you get your head round 200,000 dead? I can’t.

In situations like this, it’s the individual human stories that have the most impact – the father still holding his lost daughter, the families searching for each other, the baby pulled, miraculously alive, from the rubble – and it’s those stories that make us ask the most important question – what can we do to help?

There’s only one thing, for most of us: put our hands in our pockets and give them our money. And we are.

According to eBay, by Saturday $373,000 had already been raised by eBayers, and the eBay Foundation has given another $100,000. eBay UK currently has 348 charity listings for Haiti – and yes, there are a few big ticket items, but most of them are just ordinary people selling their stuff, giving a few pounds where they can. Go bid.

If there’s nothing you want to bid on, you can donate through eBay for Charity – and it’s here that I have to do my churlish bit. Why isn’t this link on the home page? It’s not even on the front of eBay for Charity, and I don’t think that’s good enough. If eBay.com has a banner link on the front page, why doesn’t eBay UK?

This would be such a superb opportunity to show that the UK eBay community is live and well and caring about people who have lost everything – we shouldn’t be having to dig to find the link to donate to DEC (which, I might add, didn’t even exist until Friday!). It should be in our faces: not just at checkout, not just on the SYI form, but everywhere – so that those who just don’t have cash to give at least get told that look, you could sell a CD, sell a DVD or that sweater you got for Christmas that you can’t stand – sell it and give the money away, there’ll be no fees to pay.

One more bit of housekeeping: organisations collecting for disaster relief Haiti are eligible for fee waivers from PayPal: mail [email protected] for full information.

I think we should have a target here. How does a million dollars sound? We could manage that, right?

Picture credit: Daniel Barker, U.S. Navy, via Wikimedia Commons

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