The screams in Haiti are being heard around the World. The 7.0 earthquake that rocked Port Au Prince on Tuesday brought the already impoverished city of more than two million people to its collective knees. Buildings lie in ruin. Bodies are piled in the streets. Hundreds of thousands of people are still missing in the wreckage, their fates unknown. There is no food, no water and no electricity. As emergency crews fight to get to the scene, people are digging through the rubble on their hands and knees, hoping to uncover survivors. What few houses remain are structurally unsafe. People who were lucky enough to escape with their lives are huddling together in open fields, too afraid to enter any buildings that may still be standing.
The devastation is unthinkable and unimaginable. The sheer amount of destruction is seemingly insurmountable. One news blog that I read a little while ago ended with the sentiment that “Any thoughts of full recovery during this generation is unrealistic.”. The more news, videos and photos that reach us from Haiti, the more we begin to realize how true that small statement is. One way to keep up with the very latest news is to follow reporter Richard Morse. He is giving updates from Port Au Prince as often as he can.
Those of us who are not in Haiti are scrambling, trying to figure out what we can do to help. Not knowing what we can do often leads us to do nothing at all. In my opinion, this is not an option right now. The devastation caused by this earthquake is being compared to losing an entire war in just a few short moments.
There are many trustworthy organizations who are already on the scene, and many more that are gathering together resources to aid the victims of this awful tragedy. We have come up with a list of some of the ways that you can help. Please remember that every penny – literally – counts. If you are in a situation where you cannot send money or supplies, do not feel as though you are worthless. Your thoughts, prayers and support are needed by the people in Haiti, as much as the physical donations are.
- American Red Cross – There are three ways you can contribute via the Red Cross: monetary donations, blood donations, and signing up as a volunteer.
- Text to Donate – If you want to donate money but are a little short right now, the State Dept. has set up a way to donate via text message. Text “Haiti” to 90999 and a donation of ten dollars will be added to your next phone bill and forwarded to the Red Cross.
- Doctors Without Borders – The Doctors Without Borders program has been stationed in Haiti for a long time already. Their facilities were destroyed by the earthquake, along with much of their supplies. They are rushing to attempt to care for the injured people who need them, but they need your help.
- National Nurses United – The nation’s largest organization of registered nurses tonight activated its nationwide disaster relief program to recruit nurse volunteers to provide assistance to residents of earthquake devastated Haiti.
- UNICEF – UNICEF is dedicated to helping children. Before Tuesday, there were already thousands of children who were orphans living below the poverty level. Today, there are many thousands more.
- Operation USA – Operation USA has been rated as a four-star charity for the past six years. Every penny that goes in to the organization goes right back out to the places that need it.
- Mercy Corps – Mercy Corps allows you to send a flat donation of your own, or can help you organize your own fundraising team. They also accept donations other than money, such as clothing and building materials.
- World Food Bank – The WFP has already pledged more than two million dollars to help feed the people of Haiti. It is expected that the amount needed will far exceed this.
- T-shirts – Emerald City Fashion Week is raising money to support the relief effort with a Fashion4Haiti T-shirts which are available for immediate purchase! Net proceeds will be donated to World Vision to help children and families affected by the 7.0 earthquake.
Our hearts go out to everyone in Haiti, as well as to the people around the World waiting for news of loved ones.