NEW YORK (AP) – The numbers are almost too large to fathom, so many Americans stop trying. As bodies pile up in disaster after global disaster, even the most sympathetic souls can turn away.
Charities know this as “donor fatigue,” but it might be more accurately described as disaster fatigue – the sense that these events are never-ending, uncontrollable, and overwhelming. Specialists say it is one reason Americans have contributed relatively little to victims of the Burma cyclone and China’s earthquake.
Lisa Tolin is a journalist and Special Projects Editor at NBC News.