Homeless: San Jose, San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, Boston, Denver.

Make a difference, let’s tell millions: Help me Digg this story

Last week, I tried to inspire you to donate to the China crises by showing you beautiful pictures. This time, I’m going to take a little bit more of a realistic approach. Numbers are often hard to fathom, so images (in context to our lives) can really help to illustrate a point.

If the US had as many homeless as the China Quake, the following high tech cities would have no where to live:

San Jose
San Jose, Calif. Population: 912,332

San Francisco
San Francisco, Calif. Population: 739,426

Dallas, Tex. Population: 1,213,825

Austin, Tex. Population: 690,252

Boston, Mass. Population: 559,034

Denver, Colo. Population: 557,917

Total: aprox 4,670,000, with a leftover to fill many small cities in America. (such as Oakland, Miami, Tulsa, Honolulu, all in the 300k range)

City population from Infoplease

Shocking? I could have used images of death, despair and crying parents. Sometimes, I think that’s less effective, especially if the culture is foreign, so I decided to use something most readers have in common –home town images.

There are 5,000,000, people homeless in China due to the earthquake. If you find this number as shocking as I did, I hope this example puts this into perspective.

You can actually do something, and donate to the Redcross, or other worthy causes. I choose the Redcross as I know the money will be put to good use.

I also learned that my parent in laws are considering adopting an orphan from the earthquake, I’m pretty excited.

Thank you, global citizens. Jeremiah Owyang, a 5th Generation Chinese American

Update: Wendy, from the Red Cross has left a comment and points us to the Causes page in Facebook, and is providing regular updates from on how they resources are being used. This is the city of Denver, not the metro area, see US census data.

It’s now in a German version.

  • Way to put it in perspective. That’s the nature of a nation with more than billion people. Everything, from disaster to prosperity, is bigger. Practically everything is a superlative.

    SocialVibe.com has another way to contribute if your site or social pages get a lot of traffic.

  • Sara

    Have been in touch with your local Red Cross chapter? I would think they’d be thrilled to meet with you to talk about your advocacy efforts.

  • Thanks Sara. A few Chinese from China have contacted me, that’s enough. It’s not supposed to be about me, but I’ll use my platform to make a difference.

  • Jeremiah, Thank you for putting things in perspective in a way that makes it really resonate. The scale of this tragedy is so large, it’s truly hard to imagine. I think what your family is considering is an amazing gesture. I hope it works out.

  • /pd

    Very Good Matrix build in ‘common sense’ variables. I would never had this tapestry of thought.


  • Please DIGG this post my friends. Thanks for supporting, now let’s tell millions.


  • Sara

    Exactly – it isn’t about you, but your passion. The value of a non-staff person who can and will champion a cause like you have done is invaluable to nonprofits. You aren’t paid to care, so it resonates with people. Don’t sell yourself short.

    If you couldn’t tell, I work in the nonprofit sector. I’ll get off my soap-box now!

  • How tragic…thanks for the perspective….I certainly shall do my part….
    May the peace that surpasses all human understanding rest on those left behind…

  • er… those numbers are a *tad* off…
    Metro Denver’s population is currently around 2.7 million.
    But still… you know, it’s amazing – and we need to remember that with the cyclones in Burma, the Earthquake in China, and the fact that we’re about to head into Hurricane season – there is not a better time to think about our fellow man and see what we can do to help.

  • I lived in southeast China (Fujian province) for several years and it will always remain very near and dear to me. I like your approach to this. Hopefully these figures will put things in the right perspective for many folks when they see the population of these American cities.

    Best of luck to your family! That’s truly amazing what they are doing.

  • Great Approach Jeremiah,

    Answering Your appeal from Twitter, and if You are
    listening, You know that at BlogTalkRadio.Com
    we shared an Overview about the massive Vision
    for VisionSphere.Org where are asking God to send
    forth laborer into the field of harvest. God Is True. Be Blessed always…Peace!
    God Is Love, God Is Good, God Is One!
    Listening to|Sharing-How To Experience the fullness of Joy In Salvation! http://tinyurl.com/4r44yw

  • Thanks for this. I always donate for natural disasters. This has prompted me to give more, and to pay more attention and spread the word.

  • Please be careful about making donations… there’s lots of corruption in the charity “business” in China, Red Cross included (it’s locally run).

  • Hrm

    One thing I never understood about disasters such as Katrina and this is why is so much aid needed?

    I mean, if I had the available labor of 5 million people under my leadership who had no home to go home to, I could accomplish a lot off their backs alone.

    In the wake of Katrina, there were just so many people sitting around… doing nothing.

  • You missed an ‘s’ in “citizen” in your second paragraph.

    Hope your post does inspire more people to come forward to donate.

  • Welcome digg nation. there’s some traction on the world and business homepage.

  • Shaan

    Point noted, there are many ill-intended dollars that go to selfish people.

  • This is Wendy from the American Red Cross.

    Thanks for this post, Jeremiah. This is a powerful way of thinking about the huge numbers of people affected in China.

    I linked it on the ARC Facebook Causes page: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/86415?recruiter_id=1724669

  • This is an excellent way to make people realize, Jeremiah. Compare to something they know.

    You are bringing a lot of awareness of the situation in China.

    @Hrm you can’t build or restore anything with out tools and material, and food and shelter.

  • Thanks Wendy, good to have you here, I would love to see reports from the Redcross on how the money is being spent in China. Trusting in you!

  • Claire

    Hi, this is Claire from the American Red Cross. Thanks for posting this story. It really puts the devastation into perspective.

  • Sure thing, Jeremiah. To keep up with our response, keep following updates on redcross.org.


    I’ll check back in with info as I receive it!

  • It’s worth notating that China donated to the Katrina effort


  • Claire

    Thanks for doing what you do. Please leave comments on this post when that update page on the redcross.org page gets updated.

  • felton-barch


    * What percentage of a billion Chinese citizens does half a million represent?

    * What percentage of 350 million USA citizens are homeless, unemployed, starving, and otherwise “displaced” due to globalization?

    * Where should USA citizens send their donations?

  • felton

    I was waiting for someone to bring that up. Can you cite your numbers for 350 million USA citizens?

    this is an important discussion to have, and I welcome your thoughts.

  • Felton

    You encouraged me to learn more, you’re right there’s a big problem right here domestically

    USA Today reports 744,000 are homeless here, that’s pretty bad


    The US population is 300,000,000

  • Claire

    Sure thing. I’ll keep you updated.

    One thing you may find useful: United is offering miles for donations to the American Red Cross.

    More information: http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=wkpl_Employee_China_Only_0508_PUBLIC&s_company=unitedairlines-pub&s_src=FZZWGW00&s_subsrc=unitedairlines-pub&s_match=no&JServSessionIdr007=j6qxt9kkd1.app195a

  • There are other ways that social media can help. Being that I write a popular column for MediaPost, and get people self promoting all the time, I hate doing this, but….Check out http://www.SocialVibe.com. It’s relevant.

    We have kids using their social media influence for brands to raise money for the crisis. It is a generation full of teens that want to make a difference, but without the monetary means. I wrote more on the subject of “Social Media for social good” more here: http://blogs.mediapost.com/spin/?cat=11

    Love your writing Jeremiah.

  • Julie Katz

    Hi Jeremiah,

    Thanks for keeping me informed about the situation in China. I used to work for a homeless organization here in the states: Did you know that there are over 1 million homeless children here in the US! Just thought your readers might like to have a more local perspective on homelessness as well.


  • Julie

    Truly sad, on both domestic and foreign issues. I did a little bit of peeking around (see comment 27).

    Is the one million children here in US include kids in orphanages?

  • Pingback: Fifty Thousand - Earthquake Relief()

  • Pingback: Donating to help with the Chinese earthquake crisis at lifeinlists.com()

  • Pingback: Finance articles and news » Blog Archive » Crazy: If the US had as many Homeless as the China Quake!()

  • Pingback: Keeping Tabs » Blog Archive » What’s the going rate for your opinions?()

  • Pingback: Side effects expired soma.()

  • Pingback: Piano()