I didn’t hear about the Haitian earthquake until four days after it happened, and then I didn’t give it too much attention. I have my own things going on, you know. Facing my own battles. It wasn’t that I didn’t care. I just didn’t think about it. Until tonight.
I was surfing around catching up on blogs that I’ve neglected in my crazy week, and came across this series of photos.
There is no way you can look at them and not feel infinitesimally small in the great scheme of things.
Mothers comforting injured babies, fathers, brothers, husbands desperate for food and water handouts. Relatives crying, searching for loved ones. One particular picture of a woman whose little girl was visiting family in Haiti made tears brim over my eyelids. That could be me. I could send my little girl for a visit. I could be sitting here wondering where my child is.
And yet life goes on. A baby is born, a child pulled from the rubble, help comes, food comes, and slowly but surely life goes on, never returning to normal, a new future unfolding. Children shipped off to new homes, a nation broken up, splintered at the roots, because of nature’s cruelty.
But that’s Haiti, and it is today. Today we are compelled to help, driven to tears, feeling simultaneously guilty and grateful for our own lives, and our own safety. But what happens tomorrow, or next week, when new headlines grab our attention, and Haiti goes down the list of our priorities. Does that mother’s pain lessen? When can she put food on her family’s table again? When will what’s left of her family even have a table again? How long does it take to rebuild a life?
And today we think about Haiti, and that is good. We should think of those people, and do what we can to help. But what about the East African food crisis? The typhoon in the Philippines? Even last years earthquake in Sumatra. The list is endless!
What can we do? What can we really do to make a real and lasting difference. I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. And that saddens me.
I don’t mean to sound pessimistic or negative, I just feel so overwhelmed by the magnitude of global desperation.
I’m not going to reinvent the wheel today. There have been some great blogs, with excellent ideas on how to help Haiti. Please check them out, and see how you can help:
- Mama’s Losin’ It – Hope for Haiti has some great links to sites where you can help, even if you have no money
- If you’re feeling creative and want to go about it in a fun, project kind of way, Not Quite June Cleaver’s Dough for Haiti might be your thing
- My personal favourite with great ideas for every budget, Making Lemonade – How to Help
- And of course, the British Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, Care,Â Unicef and a host of other organisations will all appreciate your donations. Just Google (who themselves are donating $1 mil)Â ‘Donations for Haiti’ and you’ll find no end of options.
- There’s always something you can do, even if just buying your next book second hand at a charity shop, or popping a pound/dollar/*insert your currency here* in the collection bin at your local supermarket.
Will you miss those 10 bucks a month? Donate regularly, buy from charity shops regularly, support locally. Make giving a way of life.
Disasters are endless. Next time it could you or me relying on the charity of strangers.