Sunday, January 17, 2010

Helping Haiti

Unless you live in a cave, you know by now that Haiti is in far worse trouble now that it was a week ago. Their earthquake was perhaps 50% stronger than Northridge, but due to construction techniques best suited for hurricane-proofing and not for earthquake-proofing, plus the utter lack of any building codes, huge numbers of people have lost everything they own (which wasn't much to start with).

There are numerous charitable organizations worthy of your donations to help provide immediate aid and ongoing assistance. Some of my favorites are:

Heifer International - Heifer provides both livestock and husbandry training in Third World countries and has worked in Haiti for many years. It is probably the most popular charity among veterinarians (it's that ulterior motive thing, lol....more patients for food animal vets to treat).

Doctors Without Borders - they need help rebuilding the three hospitals in Port-au-Prince that were destroyed, along with immediate needs.

Mennonite Central Committee (I owe some Mennonites a personal debt which can never be repaid to my satisfaction)

Veterinarians Without Borders - While they do not currently have a Haiti presence, plans are in the works as a result of the earthquake from what I understand.

As I sit here tonight, snug in my little home, all warm and dry in spite of the pouring rain - with 5 or 10 times more square footage for myself to live in than the average Haitian, and a full cupboard and stomach - I am profoundly grateful for what I have. I am safe, and I know where my next week of meals and more is coming from, and I will sleep tonight on a bed most of the world's poor would consider fit for a queen. How can I, and millions of middle-class Americans like me (most of whom have far more than me) not give until it hurts to see that some small amount of suffering is eased?

Ok, enough shilling. You know what to do.