Monday, May 11, 2009

Worth It.

I sign a lot of online petitions – at least one per week, on average – but most I never really think about again. Today I received an email message from Care2, one of the organizations (the other main one being Avaaz) that I sign petitions through. It said

"I'm writing with joy and relief to let you know that your signature made a difference: American journalist Roxana Saberi is free!

Ms. Saberi appealed her conviction on charges of espionage, and thanks to international pressure on the Iranian government including the almost 28,000 activists who signed our petition, she appeared in court to have her appeal heard yesterday and her charges were reduced. She walked out of prison in Iran today and was reunited with her parents.


Thank you so much for signing the Free Roxana Saberi petition - you truly made a difference."

This really brightened my day. I tend to sign those, thinking "It can't hurt, right?" but it was really inspiring to me and empowering to feel that just by the simple action of going to a site, logging in, and clicking "sign" I could free somebody.

This really shows the magnitude, and how such a tiny action on our part can correspond to such a monumental change for Ms. Saberi's life. This is the power of unity: one person alone could never make such a difference with even a large action on the internet, but when people come together, change happens. With such an easy way to make a difference, it's a wonder so many people choose not to.

Here's another easy and concrete way to make a difference from the comfort of your wheely-chair: go on Care2's Click 2 Donate page, where just by clicking a button you can donate money daily to saving the rainforest (7 square feet per day) or reducing your carbon footprint (1 pound per day) or women's rights, breast cancer, animal cruelty and more. Check it all out at In just the couple of months I've been doing this, I've already saved over 200 square feet of endangered habitat (rainforest, marine wetlands, etc). That's alot.

The daily click, if nothing else, allows you to do something selfless every day, even if it's not much.

Below are a few still-standing petitions, if you're interested:
...and now I'm going to reply to the Care2 folks and tell them how grateful I am for the followup message.