Friday, January 15, 2010

Random Rants - Haiti needs our help!

This is usually a light-hearted blog promoting Nikki Makes Scents and other handcrafted businesses, some tips and random personal and/or funny tidbits.   Nevertheless, I could not ignore the devastation of the already impoverished country of Haiti only 750 miles away from the U.S.  Living in New York which has the largest population of Haitians, I am acquainted with some who are still waiting on word on the well being of their relatives.  It reminds me of when living in Michigan the time of Sept 11th and waiting on word of my family and friends in New York.  The not knowing for only a few hours was unbearable.  I can only imagine after seeing all the news clips of the ruble and people in the streets the turmoil of not knowing after 72 hours if your loved ones are safe.



With 80% of the population below the poverty line;
you can see Haiti does not have earthquake-proof buildings. 


There are many survivors out there that need medical attention.



This beautiful building, the Presidential Palace is now just ruins.

So what can we do?  
  • Give of your time -  With economic times as they are it may be difficult for some to reach into an empty pocket. For others who want to be proactive. And for those who want to show their teenagers the self satisfaction of giving; short of catching the next plain to Port-au-Prince here are a couple of suggestions:
    • Go to your local Red Cross or disaster relief agency to offer your assistance for anything.  Relief workers are probably working around the clock and someone just getting coffee or manning the telephones for a couple of hours while other relief workers prepare supplies for shipment would be a big help right now.  
    • Take the opportunity to donate blood. This is a gift of life. 
  • Give Money - More than anything right now the major relief organizations are requesting money than other material items so they can specifically obtain the supply needed.  The times are meager.  Although, just making instead of buying coffee and bagging lunch for a couple of days and donating what you would have spent can make a world of difference.  Consider these  reputable organizations my business and I have contributed to:
    The premiere emergency relief organization, The Red Cross is in the process of sending relief from the US, Peru, Mexico and the local chapters already in Haiti.  Go to the Redcross.org or 1-800-REDCROSS to donate.
    YELE, Founded by Haitian-born artist Wyclef Jean. This organization was
    established to promote the betterment of the Haitian people.  With just a text message "YELE" to 501501 $5 will be donated to the relief fund and 100% of the proceeds are used for this purpose.  For larger donations go to YELE.org
    • Doctors without Borders comprise of medical and mental health professionals donating their skill around the world regardless of race, religion or political affiliation.  These selfless humanitarians need supplies to give quality medical attention.  Go to DoctorsWithoutBorders.org to donate.

     If your not giving to one of these organizations please 
    beware of scams like email solicitations, and third party fundraisers.
    • Promote the cause - I urge everyone not to make this just "news of the week" only to newspaper the bird cage with the headlines next week.  This is not tabloid news but current disastrous events.  The death toll is climbing to the 10's of thousands and as many as 3 million people are in need of some type of aid.  Emergency help is needed now. Reconnecting with family members, cleaning up, rebuilding, and so much more will be needed in the weeks and months to come.  Keep it in the media.  Just like we were tired of hearing about the latest Tiger Woods scandal we should keep the spotlight on this because rebuilding 3 million lives will not happen overnight. 



    3 comments:

    Keith (Mindless Pursuits) said...

    This is a very thoughtful and informative post for those looking to assist. Anything, even a dollar, is a help in getting individuals in Haiti food, shelter and medical assistance. Thank you for addressing this.

    Mary said...

    a nice way to approach a problem that seems so far away. i'm sure your post will help people think through their own plans to help

    Kerry_Kid Giddy said...

    Great source of information. Here's another site you can donate through: http://www.ldsphilanthropies.org/
    It is my hope that through this devastation, more peace will abound and be long lasting as we humble ourselves and serve.