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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Do Something For Our Friends In Haiti

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Donate via Google to CARE or UNICEF, both wonderful organizations.
  5. 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.

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6 comments to Do Something For Our Friends In Haiti

  • Partners in Health also seems to be a great, reliable organization to donate to: http://www.pih.org/. They’ve been on the ground there for long enough to get a good sense of how to get the most done. Poor Anderson Cooper was losing it last night he was so frustrated. You can’t blame him. What a mess.

  • Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières has an established presence in Haiti, providing medical care there for or almost 20 years. You can donate here: https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=197&hbc=1

  • I also want to recommend the book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder that is the beginning story of Partners In Health in Haiti. It’s a very good read that brings the people of Haiti up close as well as the story of Paul Farmer a most tireless doctor.

  • becky

    Ditto all that Katrina said about Mountains Beyond Mountains. A donation to Partners in Health would directly benefit the hands on work Dr. Farmer and his teams have been delivering in Haiti for the past 20+ years, and were among the first to offer help in this catastrophe.

    Also, a neighbor knocked on other neighbor’s doors this weekend. She came up with the plan to offer to cook italian dinners with salad for four which she will deliver the evening of your choice if you agree to make a donation of $25 to Missionary Flights, Inc. I thought this was a beautiful idea to drum up donations for the organization of her choice while building community while satisfying that need to do something hands on to help. It was such a wonderful idea I just had to pass it on.

  • [...] Tea, Seeds in Long Island, Joining the Growing Challenge, Chickens On A Rampage, and More!becky on Do Something For Our Friends In HaitiKatrina on Do Something For Our Friends In HaitiErin on Do Something For Our Friends In HaitiSheryl [...]

  • Katrina and Becky, I will check it out. Sounds wonderful. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Becky, what an inspiring story! Beautiful.

    Erin and Tiffany, thanks for adding those great organizations. Tiffany, I think a lot of people are very frustrated with the situation. Fortunately at the same time we are seeing an incredible outpooring of individual people like you and I who are wearing our compassion and urgency on our sleeves.

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