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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: How to Help Out in Emilia Romagna

Just last week for the Italy Blogging Roundtable I touched on the reaction of Umbrians to the devastating earthquakes in Emilia Romagna, given that this region was brought to its knees just fifteen years ago by its own series of major quakes.

As if to underscore this point, a group of citizens in Assisi has organized a drive for donations to be transported to the sprawling tent cities where thousands are living in temporary housing in Emilia Romagna as we speak.

The group—Quindici; Assisi Ricorda 1997-2012 (Fifteen; Assisi Remembers 1997-2012)—has put up a facebook page with its mission statement and the logistical details to participate in the drive. (Go there and like it. It won’t cost you a cent and you’ll feel all warm and fuzzy. I promise.)

The Premise:

As explained on their page:

Fifteen is a odd choice as a name for a Facebook page, as it is more a number than a word. That said, in this case Fifteen is not merely a number, but an idea.
Fifteen: the years which separate the earthquakes in Umbria—“our” earthquake—and the earthquakes still taking place in Emilia Romagna.
Fifteen: many years, but not enough for us to forget what happened in our region, and who lended a hand in those difficult times.
On this Facebook page, and through our drive, we’d like to remember who set up our tents, made us coffee and pasta, came to the scene to declare our houses safe, put on concerts of traditional Alpine songs during the evenings in the stadium to buoy our spirits, cleared the streets of debris, mounted roadblocks, set up port-a-potties (and cleaned them), brought us medicines and looked after our elderly, hooked up the electricity in our tent cities and moved our dead.
This page is for those children, now adults, who in the long days of 1997 played ball with volunteers from all across Italy.
The ball is in our court now.

The Drive:

The drive is open to donations from 18 June – 14 July, 2012.
Monday and Friday from 9 to 11 pm
Tuesday and Saturday from 6 to 8 pm

The drop-off point is Via Arco dei Priori 2/B (near the church known as Chiesa Nuova in the historic center)

The Donations:

Quindici is accepting the following donations:

Food:

  • Mineral water
  • Teas and camomile tea
  • Canned goods
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Sugar
  • Gluten-free foods
  • Baby food
  • Formula
  • Teething biscuits

Personal Hygiene:

  • Soap
  • Liquid soap
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toilet paper
  • Menstrual pads
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Adult diapers
  • Deodorant
  • Infant diapers
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Diaper wipes

Miscellaneous:

  • Plastic and paper plates, cups, and cutlery
  • Paper towels
  • Paper napkins
  • Laundry detergent and cleaning products

For logistical reasons, please try to make donations in bulk of one item, rather than a mixed donation.

The Catch:

Not within driving distance of Assisi but still want to help? No worries…you can send me your PayPal donations of ten or twenty bucks (or fifty. that’s cool. you’ll feel especially warm and fuzzy.) and on July 13th I’ll make a run to the IperCoop and spend your money for you. And I promise I won’t shave any off the top or run off to Brazil. It’s like Unicef, but without the administrative costs. Just drop me a line at rebecca@brigolante.com to let me know.

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Via Costa di Trex, 31 | 06081 Assisi (PG) | Italy

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