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Naomi Osaka, the 23-year-old four-time Grand Slam champion, is pledging whatever winnings she makes from the Western & Southern Open to earthquake relief in Haiti, where her father is from. If she takes the title, she’ll donate more than $250,000. It’s nowhere near sufficient for the scope and scale of need, but she hopes the pledge will mobilize more sustainable steps.

The death toll from the earthquake has risen to nearly 2,000, making it the deadliest in a decade. Half a million children are left with limited or no access to drinking water, food, or shelter. Hospitals are at capacity. Rescue workers are hampered by heavy rains. And the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban is dominating major US media attention. But aid efforts are advancing in Haiti.

Her pledge shines a light on two axioms of action: Donations can work, but only because political systems don’t. The imperatives and half-life of media focus aren’t keeping pace with need. It’s a point best made by our Mother Jones colleague Nathalie Baptiste, who wrote just weeks ago, after the assassination of Haiti’s president, that crisis is too often the engine of attention: “My mother wishes she could spend more time talking about Haiti when there isn’t a crisis,” she wrote in an essay that casts a long light on the political, historical, and cultural dynamics of Haiti. “Only when there’s a disaster, that’s when people want to know about Haiti,” her mother tells her. “The questions always sound the same too. Why is there constant turmoil? Why are institutions continually failing the people? Who will decide Haiti’s future?”

Read Baptiste’s insightful story here. And share your recharges when you have them at recharge@motherjones.com.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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