Help Haiti

Haiti was struck yesterday, around 5:00PM local time, by a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Details will be streaming in for some time, but the presumption is that along with the loss of many, if not most structures in capital Port-au-Prince, casualties will likely number in the thousands.

Haiti is ill-equipped to deal with such a tragedy (not that any nation is well-equipped). Weather is cruel to the island nation, and flooding and hurricanes are a disproportionately common occurrence; deforestation allows rainwater to flood down along with mudslides; political turmoil plagues the cities and villages; a lack of potable drinking water and viable food sources makes life and physical health a challenge; poverty is the rule, not the exception, with many Haitians living on less than $2 per day. Any country would need help from individuals and governments the day, days, weeks, months, and probably years after such a cataclysm…and Haiti needs it perhaps more than most.

Musician Wyclef Jean’s charity, Yele Haiti, has long been a favorite charity, helping the people of Haiti with education and outreach programs, and they are aligned now with earthquake relief and aid.The Yele Haiti website is overwhelmed (a good sign–so many want to help), but persevere. Alternatively, your favorite international disaster relief organization will also be reaching out and mobilizing, so a donation to the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies or similar, a dedicated donation earmarked for Haitian relief, truly will make a difference. Many cities are also accepting aid donations and will mobilize civilian and military and government workers and relief products/supplies. More opportunities to give will undoubtedly arise as today goes on.

Don’t wait–be part of the solution.

Here is a link to MSNBC’s current (and updated) list of organizations actively involved in reaching out to Haiti, so you can find a place to have a profound effect.

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