Help Haiti. We Are Needed.
If most of you know or have heard, (unless you have been under a rock for the past week and a half) a massive, catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti last Tuesday.
A quake that registered at 7.2 on the Richter scale and has been said to be the worst quake in over 200 years. The damage, anguish, pain, death & suffering that has struck what is said to be one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere with 4/5ths of it’s 10 million citizens living in poverty, is a damage that is going to take years to rebuild.
Today’s after shock of 6.0 on the Richter only made matters worse, making the existing rubble even more compact. The psychological damage that has inflicted Haiti is something that the Haitians may never recuperate from.
When I first heard of the quake, in all honesty I wanted to avoid media coverage such as broadcasts and pictures. I could only imagine what devastation an earthquake of that magnitude could produce.
And I was right. But, we NEED to see.
NEED to experience exactly what these people are going through.
Over 250, 000 people were hurt and 200, 000 people are estimated to have perished and the count continues to rise. There is no room for the dead, they are being poured by the truckload and dumped into makeshifts tombs. Dug out pits. Old crypts are being broken into and bodies being stuffed along with the already perished of years before. For the cost of $5 Haitians are paying for “caskets” to bury their loved ones and being placed in cemetaries.
This to me is beyond belief. Completely unreal. Although most of us are quick to feel bad and go on about our day as if millions of people weren’t suffering, this stayed on my mind constantly.
And yes, I did go about my daily life, guiltily, I did. But ,I realized how easy it is to desensitize or detach ourselves from suffering that isn’t directly affecting us. It’s normal. But, I wanted to help. I DO want to help and I pictured myself in the shoes of those people. People who survived a horrific and deadly ordeal and then had to wait 5 days to receive food or water, people who had absolutely no idea where their children were, where their family was and those thousands of children who no longer had parents.
To imagine if this were us, how different things would be. Being pregnant, to hear there is hundreds of pregnant ladies in the streets in fear that they may go into labor at any time and have no medical care or a sanitary place to give birth to their child hit home even harder. To see makeshift orphanages of babies, yes, INFANTS being taken care of by medical personnel because they no longer had parents broke my heart. Knowing that they were running out of formula to give them and instead were opting for the next best thing, powdered milk, which in turn gave them diarrhea and in turn caused the infants to be in risk of dehydration is something no child should ever endure. The hardest thing is imagining all the children that perished due to this absolutely horrific natural disaster is unfathomable.
I’m affected. Deeply.
I can only help as much as the next person and for the time being could only do so monetarily. If you’ve yet to do it you can easily text an amount and it will be reflected on your cell phone bill. Everyone knows their monetary means so even if it’s only 5 dollars it helps. That’s only the amount of two Timmy coffees. For real.
You can text YELE to 501 501 which is Wyclef’s organization and a $5 donation. You can text HAITI to 90999 for a $10 donation to the Red Cross. At the moment over $200 million has been raised via text. There are countless of foundations that are doing this so if you can or want to this is how you can.
If you are concerned as to where your money is going to, according to the Red Cross:
- $5 provides a water container to store clean drinking water.
- $10 provides a blanket that is appropriate to the climate and culture of the disaster-affected area.
- $25 provides a family of five with a kitchen set, giving them the ability to cook and serve food (a disaster can destroy even the most basic family possessions and restoring family’s self-sufficiency is essential). This includes two cooking pots, a frying pan, bowls, plates, cups, and utensils.
- $30 provides essential hygiene materials to five people for one month (ensuring adequate hygiene after a disaster is essential in promoting the health of those affected). This includes items like a toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, body soap, laundry soap, toilet paper, sanitary pads, a razor and a towel.
- $60 provides tools for a family of five to build a temporary shelter: two tarps, a rope, hoe, machete, tin snips, handsaw, roofing nails, shovel, long nails, tie wire, claw hammer, and they can help themselves doing the roofs with information you can see here.
- $100 provides a cooking set, hygiene pack, blankets, and water containers for one family of five following a disaster.
- $500 provides a family tent for a family of five.
For the moment, monies is needed in Haiti but in time they will need non-perishables. I just hope that we keep this in our minds for months to come because once the media train has moved onto the next big thing we are quick to forget that life doesn’t just go on for the Haitians. They will be suffering for years to come.
So, I urge you to help in any way you can.
If you can’t do so by physical or monetary means keep them in your prayers. In your thoughts if you aren’t spiritual. It helps. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what you would do if this was you suffering at this very moment. Who knows, it could very well be soon. Guatemala, Venezuela and the Cayman Islands have suffered quakes too.
More places to donate, even just a $1!
In response to the Haitian relief effort, Starbucks committed support and funding to the growing international relief effort. Participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada will enable customers to make monetary donations at store registers, with no purchase necessary, to benefit the American and Canadian Red Cross organizations for a limited time. The Starbucks Foundation will also donate $1 million (U.S.) from The Starbucks Foundation to the American Red Cross efforts to help Haiti.
Visit your local STARBUCKS store to donate!
Doctors Without Borders/MSF
Doctors Without Borders/MSF has been working in Haiti for 19 years, most recently operating three emergency hospitals in Port-au-Prince, and is mobilizing a large emergency response to this disaster. They are currently reinforcing their teams on the ground in order to respond to the immediate medical needs and to assess the humanitarian needs that MSF will be addressing in the months ahead.
http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/ (click Donate to donate $1 or more)
CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. They are deploying additional emergency team members to the devastated city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti.
http://www.care.org/ (click Donate Now and give as little as $1)
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela, and wife to Darasak. They all share her insatiable wanderlust, enjoyment of good food, and sharing their adventures with the world. Nancy is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.