Just after the horrific earthquake rocked Haiti, I wrote an article discussing several different ways that you can help. More than a month later, there are still bodies buried in the rubble. Stories are popping up in the news on a daily basis of survivors being found alive, having been buried or trapped for weeks. There is no end in sight for the plight of the brave Haitian people. It will take many years to begin to recover from this disastrous event.
The people of Haiti still need your help. Stars in the music industry have stepped up in full force, putting together fundraisers and even telethons. Now, however, they’ve come up with an even cooler way for you to do your part in the relief effort. Thanks to producer Quincy Jones, we now have a new version of the old song “We Are The World”, in which Michael Jackson and a cast of other stars sang to raise money to help end World hunger. This time, the proceeds are going to the Haiti Relief Effort.
A new version of “We Are the World” has premiered on YouTube, featuring more than 75 artists. The video features a diverse array of artists including Mary J. Blige, Tony Bennett, YouTube teen phenom Justin Bieber, and a flashback to Michael and Janet Jackson performing the song 25 years ago. The charitable connection here is a digital download – all proceeds from sales of the song on iTunes go to Haiti relief. The We Are the World Foundation website also offers other ways to donate, as well as more information about the song.
In discussing the effort, Quincy Jones stated that “… with the stroke of a key on your keyboard or cell phone, images and messages can be transferred all around the world to hundreds of millions of people in seconds. That’s an enormous amount of power. How can you not try and harness that resource to help people in need?”
With such a small amount of effort required – and an amazing video to watch – how can you not click that button?
A report released today says that about 44% of Google users simply skim through news headlines, and never click through to read the full stories. The report goes on to predict the continuing decline of print news in favor of being able to get it online. This doesn’t come as much surprise to me – or anyone else, really.
However, I don’t agree that that many people never bother to click through. Sure, I scan headlines, much like the rest of you. However, if something catches my eye then I cannot stop with just a few sentences in a Google search. I have to click through and read the rest of the article. I have a feeling most of you are the same way. The article states that 2,787 US news consumers were polled. That’s fine… but who did they poll? How do we know that very tiny number of the population truly represents us all? I don’t agree that they possibly could.
What are your thoughts? Do you turn to the Internet for your news? Do you scan and go, or click and read? What other sites do you enjoy reading articles on, to find out what’s happening in the World around you?
Facebook doesn’t think you have enough friends! Earlier today, the site started pushing its Friend Finder tool at the top of the main News Feed when you log in to the service. The feature suggests you use it by showing you the photos of three existing friends that have already used the tool to find new friends too. The reasoning behind this sudden push is pretty obvious: the more friends you have, the more you’ll use the site. Thankfully, there is an option to permanently make the notification disappear if you don’t want to use it.
I can see the pros and cons of having this on the main page, right out there to be seen immediately upon logging in. Sure, you may find even more friends. You also may have more people find you… possibly people you wouldn’t necessarily want to be friends with. Some people are very selective as to who they add to their friends list. Those people will likely not enjoy the deluge of new friend requests waiting for their approval (or denial!) tomorrow morning.
There has been a lot of news today in our world. Devastation in Haiti… Google in China… Friends on Facebook! There have also been a number of excellent posts made right within our community. I hope you had a chance to make your thoughts known.
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.