Haiti, one little person in this troubled world & Me
Posted January 15, 2010on:
Listening to public radio on my way to the mall for my morning walk, I heard again about the dire medical conditions in Haiti after the earthquake.
Tens of thousands of Haitians are suffering from crush injuries from buildings collapsing on them. Many bodies remain trapped under these buildings. Those rescued from buildings have broken limbs and crushed muscles. They have a very short time to get to surgery to survive and that country has very little even on its best days.
And it is a race to do something about the bodies before many diseases set in.
I just made a contribution to Haitian relief, again little against the big odds they are facing in that country.
The world is trying to help, but relief planes often are unable to land because there is no room and fuel for them to return to their home countries. The pier that might have brought in supplies by ship was destroyed in the earthquake.
A while back, I was listening to a writer who described how difficult it is to get people concerned about countries were genocide is rampant. People cannot appreciate what it is for tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands or even millions of people to die.
It turns out the best number to impress upon a potential donor to a relief effort for a country with genocide is one. Tell the story of one little child and it gets through to people like me in safe places in the world.
I wish I remembered who was being interviewed, but he said the number at which interest drops dramatically is two. Tell the story of two people and donors are less likely to give.
The numbers are different, apparently, in a natural disaster. There is a race to come to the aid of Haiti and that is wonderful.
It is hard to look at those problems and then consider my own as one little person in this troubled world.
I’m still waiting for authorization for high tech cancer treatment. Meanwhile, the people of Haiti – and other traumatized countries in the world – are waiting for water, food and basic medical supplies.
No one ever said life is fair. And no, I will not give up my radiation treatment – assuming the insurance company approves it – to send all that money to Haiti.
This one little person is not that altruistic.
If you haven’t done so already, please find it in your heart to make a donation to Haitian relief or to help a neighbor or friend in some kind of need. That’s what we should be doing on this planet.
I stole this list of agencies from the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/haiti-earthquake-relief-h_n_421014.html):
•The American Red Cross is pledging an initial $200,000 to assist communities impacted by this earthquake. They expect to provide immediate needs for food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support. They are accepting donations through theirInternational Response Fund.
•UNICEF has issued a statement that “Children are always the most vulnerable population in any natural disaster, and UNICEF is there for them.” UNICEF requests donations for relief for children in Haiti via their Haiti Earthquake Fund. You can also call 1-800-4UNICEF.
•Donate through Wyclef Jean’s foundation, Yele Haiti. Text “Yele” to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill and given to relief projects through the organization.
•Operation USA is appealing for donations of funds from the public and corporate donations in bulk of health care materials, water purification supplies and food supplements which it will ship to the region from its base in the Port of Los Angeles. Donate online at www.opusa.org, by phone at1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave, Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.
•International Medical Corps is assembling a team of first responders and resources to provide lifesaving medical care and other emergency services to survivors of the earthquake. The IMC previously helped recovery efforts after September 2009’s earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia, and the massive 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Donate to the International Medical Corps through their 24-hour hotline at 800-481-4462
•Ben Stiller’s Stillerstrong campaign will be temporarily diverting all donations to support the Haiti relief effort.
•Partners In Health reports its Port-au-Prince clinical director , Louise Ivers, has appealed for assistance: “Port-au-Prince is devastated, lot of deaths. SOS. SOS… Temporary field hospital by us at UNDP needs supplies, pain meds, bandages. Please help us.” Donate to their Haiti earthquake fund.
•As a UN Special Envoy to Haiti, Bill Clinton appeared on CNN on Wednesday to ask for further assistance in bringing relief to populations on the ground. You can donate through the Clinton Foundation or text HAITI to 20222 to donate $10.
•Direct Relief is committing up to $1 million in aid for the response and is coordinating with its other in-country partners and colleague organizations. Their partners in Haiti include Partners in Health, St. Damien Children’s Hospital, and the Visitation Hospital, which are particularly active in emergency response. Donate to Direct Relief online.
•The UN World Food Programme is gathering all available resources to deliver food to the recently homeless and impoverished in Haiti. Donate now to help bring food to those affected as quickly and efficiently as possible.
•Following the earthquake, Catholic Relief Services made an immediate commitment of $5 million for emergency supplies. They are distributing food and relief supplies, and importing plastic sheeting, mosquito nets and water purification tablets from the Domincan Republic. Donate toCatholic Relief Services to assist in these efforts.
•Give to the American Jewish World Service’s Earthquake Relief Fund.
•CARE is deploying emergency team members to Port-au-Prince today to assist in recovery efforts. They’re focusing their efforts on rescuing children who may still be trapped in schools that collapsed. Donate to CARE.
•Orphans International America reports that they have been able to make contact with their program director in the town of Jacmel, a city about 20 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince that houses OI’s hospitals and schools. Orphans International America is attempting to gather food, clean water and emergency medical supplies to Jacmel. You can contribute to them throughPayPal.
•The International Rescue Committee is deploying an emergency response team to Haiti to deliver urgent assistance to earthquake survivors and to help overwhelmed local aid groups struggling to meet the immense emergency needs. They will focus on critical medical, water and sanitation assistance. Donate to the IRC Haiti Crisis Fund.
•NetHope is coordinating its response with its NGO member agencies and with the UN’s Emergency Telecom Cluster to establish connectivity in Haiti. Seventeen of NetHope’s members are already providing aid and deploying resources on the ground. Donate online.
•The Haitian Health Foundation is still assessing the situation of their full-time facilities and staff in Haiti. They regularly provide health care, development and relief to rural mountain villages in Haiti. Donate to the Haitian Health Foundation.
•World Vision has more 370 staff in the country. Staff members from less-affected regions of Haiti are mobilizing, and World Vision’s global experts are expected to arrive in the disaster zone as soon as possible. Donate to World Vision.
•United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is the UN’s humanitarian fund responding to emergencies like the earthquake in Haiti. Donate online.
•Friends of the Orphans will use donations to meet the needs of first responders such as first aid supplies, shipping of necessary materials to assist in efforts, and treating the injured. Those interested in helping the relief effort can visit www.friendsoftheorphans.org, or call 888-201-8880 to make a donation.
•World Concern‘s staff is almost entirely composed of Haitian nationals and will be tapping into private as well as U.S. government supplies to help in the relief effort it hopes will soon be supplemented by cargo ships. Donate to World Concern.
•Merlin USA is sending an emergency response team out to the region and have subsequently launched an emergency appeal to bring urgent medical aid and assistance to those affected. Donate to Merlin USA.
•The Salvation Army has staff on the ground and already the organization has set aside $50,000 in direct aid to the country but the organization is in need of additional donations. Donations can be made online or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
•AmeriCares has pledged $5 million in aid in the wake of the catastrophe and is sending an emergency shipment with $3 million worth of medicines and supplies for earthquake survivors. Donate online or call 1-800-486-HELP.
•Handicap International will provide care to those injured by the earthquake and its aftershocks, including support to hospitals for essential post-surgery and rehabilitation care, as well as emergency shelter, emergency basic needs and food distribution for at least 5,000 people initially.Donate online.
•Episcopal Relief & Development has committed to providing Haiti both long and short-term support in the wake of the disaster. Donate to the Haiti Fund or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.