I was on Saint John, just a few islands east of Haiti and the Dominican Republic when I heard the devastating news of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shattered the lives of hundreds of thousands in Haiti. I said an immediate prayer, but couldn’t help thanking the fact that it was “that” island and not the one that I was on. I immediately felt guilty. The city of Port-au-Prince is densely populated with close to 3 million people living in and around the city. President Barack Obama said in his January 15th article:
In the aftermath of disaster, we are reminded that life can be unimaginably cruel. That pain and loss is so often meted out without any justice or mercy. That “time and chance” happen to us all. But it is also in these moments, when we are brought face to face with our own fragility, that we rediscover our common humanity. We look into the eyes of another and see ourselves. And so the United States of America will lead the world in this humanitarian endeavor. That has been our history, and that is how we will answer the challenge before us.
His words made me very proud. While our amazing country sends our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, our doctors, nurses, and paramedics, our aircraft carriers and heavy equipment to begin relief efforts, I look for little ways that I can help too. Here are a couple great ways I have found to help in a civilian’s small ways:
I just bought this comfy American Apparel Tee from Fretto Prints, the proceeds of which go directly to Partners in Health.
I always love how quickly the American Red Cross is able to respond and provide an easy way to give. Just a few days after the disaster there were flyers at the check-out lines of Publix Grocery Store making it easy to add $5, $10, $25 dollars right to your grocery purchase.
Unicef is an amazing foundation committed to helping children around the world. Their website has tons of information about their efforts and how you can help. You can give directly to the foundation which will purchase Family Water Kits, First Aid Kits, and School in a Box. You can even browse a beautiful selection of gifts on their website, the proceeds of which go directly to their humanitarian efforts around the world.
Native Haitian, Wyclef Jean, has already raised over 3 million dollars through his foundation, Yele Haiti, another amazingly simple way to give. You can simply
Text Yele to 501501 to give $5
Text Haiti to 501501 to give $10
Until February 1st, Josie Maran will contribute 50% of the company’s sales to the American Red Cross. Check out their site here.
And finally, check out Whitehouse.gov to learn more about the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.