Sunday, January 02, 2005

"I hurt in my heart" French baker helping Tsunami victims

Far from the tsunami-ravaged beaches of southeast Asia,
a village baker in France's Champagne region is taking
action to play at least a small part in helping the

Christian Carle, 41, has since Wednesday contributed
Euro 1 (US$1.36) from the sale of every seasonal
«Galette des Rois» pastry to the Red Cross for disaster
relief, he said. After local radio and national TV
reported his campaign, Carle said he has barely slept,
and phone calls from supporters around the country
haven't stopped.

«I sold 150 galettes in a day this week, more than in an
entire month last year,» Carle said Saturday from his
bakery in the village of Germaine, population 560, east
of Paris. His is one of the many spontaneous acts of
support, small and large, from people, governments and
humanitarian agencies worldwide for the tens of
thousands of tsunami victims.

Since learning about the disaster only on Wednesday _
admittedly a late jump _ Carle said he has collected
about Euro 300 (US$408) in his campaign. «It has been
incredible. Some people have given 20, 30, or 40 euros,
and they didn't even buy a galette!» he said by phone.

Some customers traveled from 20 kilometers (12 miles)
away, he said. A trained optician, Carle said if he can
work it out, he would like to do more: like taking a
month off and contributing his skills to humanitarian
groups in the tsunami-ravaged region.

«I hurt in my heart for those 5-year-olds who lost their
parents,» the father of two said. «We can't forget these

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