OK so this is an older thought, just now floating back to the surface. But I think it’s still a good one. I noticed that even in the middle / end period of a recession Americans dug deep and found a way to give generously to Haiti that was in desparate need after the earthquake. On Jan 17, 2010 ABC News reports that Americans had given $150 Million, and over $12 million was collected via text messages alone. By Jan 25th that giving was up to roughly $350 Million according to North Shore Journal and $528 million according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. (note due to different sources the numbers may be a bit off. I included all non-government donations from the North Shore data).
The pace of giving for Haiti is running ahead of the amount donated in the same period after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and the Asian tsunamis in 2004 but slower than the outpouring of gifts after the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In the eight days after the flooding started in New Orleans, Americans gave at least $580-million for relief efforts.
In the nine days after the Asian tsunamis, major U.S. relief groups raised $163-million, and in the 10 days after September 11, Americans donated $239-million.
I think this shows that the reputation of Americans as generous and caring, even if our government sometimes doesn’t match that, is still why the world looks up to us in many ways.