Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Noel in Mexico: UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken and the Spirit of the Season

Escaping the flooding in Tabasco. (Photos from the BBC)

Noel: the Christmas season, literal meaning "the birth of Christ."

At the end of October 2007, Hurricane Noel began to batter the state of Tabasco in southeastern Mexico. After more than a week of steady, torrential rain, eighty percent of Tabasco was flooded, and more than a million people were forced from their homes.

In the days following the flooding, UNICEF immediately mobilized to provide emergency supplies of food, baby formula, clean water and safe shelter for the children and families displaced by the flood. The organization is also proving thousands of recreational and school kits for children who have been displaced or whose schools have been destroyed.

Two months later, in this season of noel, many remain displaced. Much more remains to be done.

Now you have a chance to help those affected by the flooding in Mexico.

This Christmas season, UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken will not be on a skiing holiday in the French alps. He won't be relaxing around the fire at his North Carolina estate. Realizing that UNICEF never takes a vacation, he has decided to spend his Christmas with the children and families displaced by the floods. He will be traveling to Mexico this weekend, at the conclusion of his fourth Christmas concert tour.

In support of Clay Aiken's work on behalf of the children affected by the flooding, UNICEF has established a special donation link to challenge UNICEF supporters to raise $100,000 by the end of the year to support relief efforts in Mexico.

Clay Aiken being greeted by Indonesian children, following the tsunami. (Photo courtesy UNICEF)

Clay is just part of a UNICEF team giving of themselves in the spirit of the season. Richard Alleyne, a member of UNICEF's Tabasco delegation, was among the first to respond.

UNICEF's Richard Alleyne with mother and child at UNICEF shelter. (Photo courtesy UNICEF)

Read Richard's Field Blog, "[In the Field] On the ground in Villahermosa, Tabasco."

When I look at the first picture in this blog, I wonder who those people are and what happened to them. It could be a father and mother making way through the flood waters holding their child, as so many thousand were forced to do.

This Christmas, I recognize that for some, not only is there is no room at the inn, there is no inn and no manger at all. The time is now. Before year's end, do your part to help people survive this crisis and rebuild their lives.

In the spirit of this season of giving, please act now to help Clay Aiken and UNICEF raise $100,000 before the end of the year for those affected by the flooding in Mexico.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From your magnificent pen to the hearts of all who can help these unfortunate people.