How Much Do You Give? How Much Do You Have?

We’re all getting hit from all directions about the need from our Haitian brothers and sisters for help.  Suddenly our worries about our own economy are less important when we know people are actually suffering.

While we keep hearing on the news and from some friends who are there that the logistics of landing at a broken airport, driving through broken “roads”, avoiding buildings that are waiting for one more tremor before crumbling, and about the aid getting stuck in bottlenecks while people languish, we also hear good news here and there.

"Spray for Haiti" by street artist and stencil artist Joe Iurato.
“Spray for Haiti” by street artist and stencil artist Joe Iurato.

In a media-soaked society that has very short news cycles and attention spans, I only hope that the helping hand from us continues for as long as they need it.

Artists can be a pretty self-centered lot, agreed.  I’m as narcissistic as the next one, sometimes.  But as a community, time and again we have seen artists put their entire heart out there to help, and there are countless individuals and groups in this city who are organizing to help right now.  Since Brooklyn has one of the largest Haitian communities outside Haiti, we feel the sadness especially hard, and the love too.

So please don’t tire of the news before the need is over. We’re going to keep bringing it up.

One street artist and stencil artist, Joe Iurato from New Jersey sat at the edge of his bed the other night contemplating all the simple things he had to be thankful for and decided to reach out by fundraising via Facebook to sell prints he made and send the profit to UNICEF. He called it “Spray for Haiti”.  He did it “because I have absolutely zero tolerance for watching a child suffer under any circumstance”. He sold them all within minutes.

The prints of a child praying created by stencil artist Joe Iurato sold very quickly through Facebook friends.
The prints of a child praying created by stencil artist Joe Iurato sold very quickly through Facebook friends.

Joe didn’t wait around – he designed another and marketed that one just via email. The seven layer cut stencil sold out in a short time.  Along the way, he discovered more generous people than he thought were there, and he’ll gladly tell you stories, though we won’t recount them here.

The main point is, no one had to tell Joe to use his talents to help others.  He just did it.

Spray for Haiti 2, by Joe Iurato
Spray for Haiti 2, by Joe Iurato

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