Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hole in Haiti

I'm stuck in a blogging hole. No, not a rut. A hole. One big enough to get stuck in...apparently.

There are a million things I could blog about. There are some things I want to blog about. But I cannot bring myself to devote much time to any of them.

I'm really caught up in this Haitian earthquake business. I've been watching the coverage every night. I attempted to apply for disaster relief aid, and found out they are only excepting people with at least 10 years of disaster relief experience.

Did you hear about the students from the University in Florida? 14 students and 2 staff, I believe, went to Haiti on Monday to disperse aid before the earthquake hit. All the students parents were told that their children were safe and were to meet them at an airport. When they got there, 4 sets of parents failed to see their children--there was an error, and those four college kids still haven't been found. What a rollercoaster. I can't even imagine that.

And it's the same way for hundreds of thousands of Haitian's. It's been over 5 days since the quake struck. There are barely any communication lines. There's no food, no water, and the people who are still stuck alive under the rubble are nearing the end--they won't be able to survive much longer. Bodies are in piles, being burned, or being buried in mass graves. This is the tsunami all over again--thousands of people have no idea if their loved ones are dead, or if they just can't get in contact with them, and they may never know. Even some Katrina survivors are facing that issues. And aid can't get there. There is some, but with the roads blocked and the airport inaccessible and how desperate hungry people are getting for the basic essentials...it's a nightmare. And it's only going to get worse before it gets better.

The country already barely had the essentials. Now it doesn't even have that.

The biggest way to help that I have seen so far is through the Red Cross. There are other organizations that are absolutely great to donate too, but we've been cautioned against scams. Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF...organizations you know will always be safe.

And now donating is easier than ever. If you have a major carrier (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.), your company is probably taking part in a texting service with the Red Cross. If you text the word "HAITI" to 90999, your will donate $10 to the RedCross. This $10 is added to your next phone bill, and your provider does not profit at all. I did in it all of 1 minute today. It's the only way I know of that I can personally help. Or, if your provider is not doing it, then you can always go to RedCross.org and donate online.

I don't know the current numbers of how much has been raised this way. I know in all of 2009 they raised $3Million. I also know that as of 11am on Friday morning, in 2 and a half days, they raised $9Million.

This is not something that's going to be fixed tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. Or next year. This is an ongoing fight. New Orleans is still not back up to where it was before, and that was five years ago...and we're a very well-off country compared to Haiti.

We won't hear as much about it next month. And as the year goes on, there will be less and less news information coming to us. But we have to remember that, just because we don't hear about, doesn't mean it's not there. They need help. Thankfully, they're getting it!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

(stopping by after seeing your link on my sister's blog)

I know -- it's heart wrenching. Today is the first day that I have "grounded" myself from reading/viewing articles and photos. I blogged about this yesterday -- my heart is breaking from everything I keep reading. I hope people continue to send aid, even when the media shifts their focus to the next "big" story.

Following In My Shoes