January 13, 2010
(image from http://omiusajpic.org/files/2009/07/haitian_children.jpg)
My heart bleeds for Haiti.
The earthquake that has shattered Haiti is a reminder that life is fragile and we are all one.
Reports of the carnage include the descriptions "there was blood everywhere" and "it is the end of the world". Imagine your life hanging at the mercy of nature.
Many of us here in the United States have experienced the storms of Mother Nature. We have endured disasters from blizzards, to hurricanes, tornadoes and our own earthquakes, but what has happened to Haiti is somewhat torturous. This country never seems to get a break.
I visited Haiti as a child in the 1970's. Upon our arrival, we were met with soldiers carrying bayonets. The airport in Port-Au-Prince was the size of a very small middle school. It was dank and there was one luggage conveyor belt. The washroom was a stall with a hole in a bench. I am not sure I pottied until we were in our hotel room.
The people were beautiful and friendly and I remember not wanting to leave. My mother spent the entire trip sick in bed, but my other family members toured the island, experienced the food, and befriended a young boy and his donkey. I think his name was Pierre.
In the 70's Jean-Claude Duvalier was President. I recall widespread poverty, dirt streets, but a beauty that defied the imagination. There was a grace and spirit of warmth and dignity.
Today, as thousands are struggling for their lives, tangled with the lost of love ones, homes and stability, our collective strength must dominate.
Placing all of our hatred and differences aside, there must be resolve to assist our fellow man, dry tears, rescue, feed, hug the wounded and give hope.
Please find a way to give a little help. We may all be under our own iron fist due to unemployment, out of control medical bills or debt but consider having a moment where all is swaying and collapsing - many of us can fiddle around in our cars and come up with $5 so send it somewhere, today.
A few foundations that I am certain have direct and accountable access to Haiti are Yéle Haiti Foundation and The Clinton Foundation.
It is also a safe bet the The American Red Cross is already on the ground serving those in need.
According to the Red Cross Chat Blog, they have already pledged $200,000.00 and are sending aid as this posts.
I have faith that one world, one love, one spirit can transcend tragedy and give blessings in ways we never imagined. Go out and get busy.