Hi everyone. I’m sure that you have read a lot about Haiti in the news, seen the terrible destruction on television, and heard more than you ever wanted to hear from friends and coworkers. I don’t want to add to that deluge here, so I will make this very short.
I’ve met Haitian refugees who were living in the middle of sugarcane fields in the Dominican Republic. I was filming there a couple of years ago (I was a documentary filmmaker, for those who don’t know). The children there were amazing – funny, interested in what we were doing, wanting to learn where we were from, and really just being kids. They had barely roofs over their heads, lived with very little money nor food and clothing, but they were always smiling and joking and enjoying life.
I guess I really just wanted to humanize the situation. Kids are kids, people are people, and if our neighbors and friends were in trouble we would help them. Our neighbors in Haiti need help. They were already one of the poorest countries in the world. They have lost their government, their roads, their homes, and – I would imagine – their hope. Imagine.
If you have money, I would give money. But you don’t have to give money, you can give time – help a local organization raise funds for Haiti. Or if you can’t find a local organization, get some friends together and have a bake sale, or a benefit concert, or a walk-a-thon, or whatever it is that you enjoy doing.
I firmly believe that part of living in a sustainable world is helping our neighbors, helping spread the wealth and happiness to other communities, and being there when others need us most. Sometimes the best thing we can do for the planet, and for ourselves, is to help others.
What To Do
Here are a few resources I have found. If you have found good resources, please share them in the comments so that we can all learn more.
- From your cell phone, text “Haiti” to 90999, to automatically donate $10 to the American Red Cross. Your phone company takes care of the rest, and takes no money from the transaction.
- If you’d rather give via the Clinton Foundation, text “Haiti” to 20222 (95.9% of the money goes directly to Haiti – the Red Cross gives a little less).
- Invest in the future of Haiti, by making a microfinance investment. While donations are incredibly important right now, investments in the future of Haitian businesses – to help them rebuild in the aftermath – is going to be incredibly important very soon. If you want to learn more about Oikocredit, see my previous post.
- Donate via Google to CARE or UNICEF, both wonderful organizations.
- Donate to the ASPCA or Humane Society.
And again, if you have found other good resources, please comment to let us all know! Thank you.