Sometimes it is easy to feel overwhelmed by a disaster like the earthquake in Haiti - I mean, how much can someone sitting in their office thousands of miles away do? It isn't really feasible for most people to pull up stakes and go to give first-hand assistance during the recovery - but you feel like you need to do something. The first step is just trying to offer whatever assistance you can in whatever limited way you can. Many of us might not have a lot of money to spare - but that is the key word, "spare". That means "leftover". That means you have money to begin with - so some sacrifice might build more "leftover" that can be used then be given to those who had next to nothing and have now seen even that disappear into a pile of rubble and dust.
If you can, please make a donation to help with the relief in Haiti. I recommend three organizations, mostly because I trust them and hopefully one will appeal to your personal belief system. Natural disasters like this earthquake are a fact of life, but the recovery is up to us as a society - we can either help people get back on their feet or let the disaster become humanitarian rather than natural.
I posted your Haitian aid appeal pretty much verbatim on my blog. I could see that two dozen people went directly to either Red Cross or Doctors without Borders from the post on the Northwest Geology Field Trips blog. Thanks for posting your appeal and jarring me, and in turn many visitors to my blog, to give.
The link to your blog is very popular with visitors to my blog. That is fun!
Just to let you know what one group, named ADRA (and they are on the ground there already and doing what they can with what they have right now), is doing to help in Haiti.
They have coordinated with another group based in Toronto called Global Medical. They are sending four portable medical units that can assist 1000 people/day. Also there are water purification tablets, water purification units, water treatment packs, oral rehydration salt units and at least one water tester and this will provide clean water for about 90,000 people/day.
Also, Heart to Heart International has donated antibiotics, vitamins, vinyl gloves and otc pain meds.
This may not sound like much when there are so many who need help, but at least it is being combined with others who are sending help.
When the aircraft carrier gets there, there will be more help because it has three hospitals on it. It is due there right about now or at least by morning.
I am hoping that things will get better coordinated in Haiti so the people can get the things they need. It is monumental, and thousands will be helped. We can be thankful that many are willing to help in any way they can. One good way is keeping them in our hearts and prayers.
What you have said is exact to my feelings on the issue, in so far as feeling helpless so far away. Yet mine (perhaps) go somewhat deeper because of my personal situation in relation to "the economy". So naturally just because i have some money doesn't necessarily make me feel that donating it is going to address the essential issues presented in such a catastrophe. Rescue is the most essential issue. Actually "an ounce" of preventative measures works as well or better than rescue. True money will buy supplies to help those who are in fact equally as vulnerable as the tens of thousands plus who have already perished. But how much cash will it take get the heavy equipment to search, and clear Haiti of it's 'debris' and then build secure (infra)structures there? It seems to me it could easily to be an astronomical amount. I wonder if the organizations that you trust has facilitated such responses in the (recent) past. While it is that "a bandaid" is worthwhile if you've got a gash it is somewhat Inappropriate if someone is losing a lot of blood. Thus i come to conclusion the a (quote unquote) multi pronged effort would be most realistic in tackling such circumstances. So there might be ways to get people who might have some (free) time and energy to "spare". There might be ways to provide mouth and nose masks (and potentially oxygen) to guard against stench. Then the list goes most likely on and on. And now while it's true that i'm obviously tired of crying and feeling more like vying sending me a mail informing me of the quite many options i might avail myself of in the endeavor to respond to Haiti's needs is effecting less than the "tip of the iceberg" in terms of addressing just how many people should need such information. Then these crises are not uncommon. There are still plenty of parties concerned which event in Indonesia, Philippines, China, India etc. Or is in continent after continent more accurate. Africa, Asia, Europe, Americas etc. Our problems seem so much that they could warrant a change of mind set ini the first place. So..... i thought what you had to erupt with was worthy of input as well as support. That's the short of it.
I believe that all the people on the ground are doing what they can to get things done. What a lot of people don't realize is that it takes time to get things settled down. Already there are some who are fighting over food and water and when people get desperate, they are capable of doing almost anything. And complaining about how the relief effort is going doesn't do one bit of good and already there are those who are carping as to how it is being handled. We do the best we can to help people when a disaster like this happens. In the final analysis, that is all we can do. It will take months just to clear the debrie. But what we and others do there will make a big difference. Lives are being saved and people are being helped. That I am thankful for as I said above.
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