Mercy Ships

You’ve undoubtedly been inundated with the news, images, and fundraising pleas swirling around the most powerful earthquake to hit Haiti in 200 years. Airlines are flying relief workers for free, UPS is shipping packages for discounted rates, and dozens of aid organizations in Haiti and internationally have mobilized (as have the governments of many nations). It is an international effort.

One of the things most needed has been medical care and facilities. One of capital city Port-au-Prince’s main hospitals is a total loss, and many other structures, even if still standing, are unsafe. An “inflatable” hospital is being set up, and the Mercy Ships floating hospital was deployed quickly.

“We were in contact with our partners on the ground in Haiti within 2 hours after the earthquake had occurred. Our Disaster Relief Mercy Team’s response is mobilizing to address both medical and non-medical relief,” says Sam Smith, CEO of Mercy Ships. “We have trained personnel and the systems in place to mobilize in these situations.”

Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class health care services to those without access in the developing world. Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries, impacting more than 2.16 million direct beneficiaries. More than 1,200 crew worldwide, representing more than 40 nations, are joined each year by 2,000 short-term volunteers. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, health care trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. In less traumatic times, they are a great organization with which to volunteer–at this time, their greatest need is financial support. You’ve perhaps already donated to one or more organizations via text message, online, or over the phone (be careful of scams, especially if someone cold calls you from a group you never supported before and wouldn’t logically be on their “call list.”)

Think about giving more–this won’t go away any time soon. There is so much work to be done–and it is heartening to see so many, from around the world, dedicated to doing it.

UPDATE: AIRLINES NOT DOING FREE FLIGHTS AND UPS NOT SHIPPING LARGE AMOUNTS OF PACKAGES–INFRASTRUCTURE NOT YET IN PLACE–CNN EXPOSED A “TWITTER HOAX” IMPLYING SERVICES THAT ARE NOT IN PLACE. AMERICAN AIRLINES IS FLYING SUPPLIES AND UPS DONATED $1 MILLION…

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