Saturday, April 18, 2009

It could have been here

Stefania and her husband, Marino, are ordinary people. He is an architect. She’s a clerk. They have a son, Giorgio, who recently turned 15.

They are not and have never been well off. For years they have put all their energy and money into a modest house in the medieval town of L’Aquila, in Abruzzo, Italy.

At 3:32 a.m. on April 6, as the ground shook in the worst, deadliest earthquake that country has seen since 1980, Stefania shouted at Giorgio to stand under the door. The frame above it fell into his hands. He set it down and ran downstairs. The stairway held until the family got out, and then the whole building turned to ruble.

Stefania, Marino and Giorgio are alive. But they lost their house and everything in it. Photo albums, memories, letters, furniture, clothes. It’s all gone. They are not the only ones. The earthquake left more than 20,000 people homeless. 

What would you do if you lost everything but the clothes you happen to be wearing in the middle of the night?

Stefania and her family are currently waiting to be assigned a sort of container where they will be living for a few months (and we hope not years.)

This family is not an anonymous story that took place somewhere far away. Stefania is the sister of one of Luca’s best friends, someone he’s known for more than 20 years.

If you would consider sending money to Stefania and her family it will not be lost in a bureaucratic labyrinth. It will go directly to a family in L’Aquila who would like to start over with a bit of dignity, and who is not ashamed to admit that they need all the help they can get.

I know full well life can change in a second. I know too that second can be in the middle of the night.  I do hope that if I lose everything, someone out there will find it in their heart to help.

Donations (even 5 dollars would be tremendous) can be made with Paypal to 

Luca and I will be matching donations up to $1,000.



Anonymous said...

What would I do if I were left with nothing but the clothes on my back? It happened, when I was 14, and came home from school to find smoldering remains where my home had been. The neighbors loaned us clothing and gave us toothbrushes. Curiously, I asked Diego and Etta if they knew anyone victimized by this quake in Italy and they said "no" but it didn't occur to me to ask you and Luca. I'm sorry for the plight of your friends and they need all the help they can get but be careful of sending money. It rarely reaches its destination. Doners hate to be put off by sad tales of others' experiences, but disaster aid is a highly specialized enterprise and anything marginal is usually doomed to disappointment. Good luck.

Dushka said...

That's just the thing - the money will go directly from Luca's bank account into theirs. This is not disaster relief. It's a money transfer.

Christine Lu said...

I just made a donation. I hope they all add up to make a difference. Please keep us posted on how things go for them. These tragedies always seem so far away until you're connected with people who know someone who's been affected. :(

Christine Lu

Dushka said...

THANK YOU so much. I think a lot about the oxymoron in a "far away tragedy". You'd think humanity would connect us all more, but somehow it doesn't. Subject for another blog, I guess.

Jess Anderson said...

We got interested in your web resource and we would like to place the link of our site in a fresh post on your web site.
Our website is devoted to credit cards and it's at the top 10 in Google for the keywords 'credit cards'. It's a high traffic site with PR4 and it contains loads of useful financial information presented in news and articles that highlight the most much-talked-of issues such as credit cards, debt solutions, financial crisis, ways out of it, and many more.
We believe this information can awake interest in your readers as well. We would like to cooperate with you.
Let me know, please, if you are interested in our offer and I'll send some more details of the websites.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
Jess Anderson
P.S. Sorry for writing here, at the comment page as it was impossible to find your email address. Thank you for understanding.

Anonymous said...


Let me know how I can send something to this family. Do we send it to you? Should we write a check to who?
Fau, Alexia and I would love to help anyway shape or form we can.