It is one of those baffling things in life to be surrounded by beauty, or swallowed in the everyday, and realise what absolute devastation people are facing even as we speak. Over the next several weeks, there will be an outpouring of photographs and footage as the true depth of loss becomes clear to us, even so far away. But looking, I realise that I am blessed and humbled to be part of the community that I am. There are so many, not just posting about the need for support, but donating in whatever little way they can, gathering others to do the same, and building an amazing support network.
Please, if you haven’t yet, take a minute to hold the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers. As far away as we are, it can be hard to realise the immediacy of the situation. It’s easy to look away from the television and multitask to forgetfulness. But do not forget the people who have a very long path ahead of them, who have little hope for the next chapter in their lives, even as it comes to finding the daily necessities or getting in touch with loved ones.
Ways you can help:
Pray. Light a candle. Send hope.
By all means, pass on contribution & volunteering efforts. Please though, before you retweet, or forward emails, or repost, take thirty seconds to check you information & the charities. Rumors and misinformation can spread faster than news. Good intentions are helpful, but if they’re based off of incorrect information, can lead to wasting the invaluable time and efforts of people who are actually in the position to help.
A few benefits and organizations that I can wholeheartedly recommend:
If you’re in Pittsburgh, Breathe Yoga Studio is donating the proceeds from their yogarhythmics class, tomorrow (Friday) night. (they’re a great studio. I’ll be out of town, but seriously, check it out.)
Similarly, the Shadow Lounge is hosting a benefit concert on January 21st.
Text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 through the Red Cross (it’s billed through your phone service, no credit cards necessary.) See here.
Text “YELE” to 501501 to donate $5 to Yele Haiti. See Yele.
Or, you could donate to:
Doctors Without Borders is already in place in Haiti- in fact, a good portion of their own staff is missing- and they will be receiving new specialists over the next several days to treat as much as they can.
Charity:Water has recently been developing projects to bring more clean drinking water to Haiti and is raising the urgency in light of the disaster.
UNICEF specifically works with children in need and has so far released 3.4 million for emergency funding.
Heifer International works to provide livestock and resources to families in need of sustenance and livelihoods. They are commited not just to emergency relief but long-term community building.
Not everyone can afford to give and that’s fine. Please, though, consider passing these along, and pray for those in need.