Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help victims of the Haiti earthquake

When I heard the first reports out of Haiti about Tuesday's earthquake, my heart dropped. I knew that this poor Caribbean nation would have enormous casualties after sustaining a quake with the magnitude of 7.0. Today ABC News reports that up to 100,000 people are feared dead. The American Red Cross believes that up to 3 million people may need help.

Today I read a firsthand account of the devastation on the Livesay [Haiti] Weblog, which is published by a missions family living in Haiti. Here's an excerpt:

Thousands of people are currently trapped. To guess at a number would be like guessing at raindrops in the ocean. Precious lives hang in the balance. When pulled from the rubble there is no place to take them for care Haiti has an almost non existent medical care system for her people.

I cannot imagine what the next few weeks and months will be like. I am afraid for everyone. Never in my life have I seen people stronger than Haitian people. But I am afraid for them. For us.

When the quake hit it took many seconds to even process what was happening. The house was rocking back and forth in a way that I cannot even begin to describe. It felt fake. It felt like a movie. Things were crashing all over the house. It felt like the world was ending. I do not know why my house stands and my children all lie sleeping in their beds right now. It defies logic and my babies were spared while thousands of others were not.

What can we do? Light a candle, pray, and donate money for disaster relief. I am not Haitian, but in this era where technology rules, I consider Haiti to be part of my community.

You can help immediately by donating to the Red Cross to assist the relief effort. Contribute online to the Red Cross, or donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999."

Click here to find a list of other disaster relief and non-governmental organizations offering aid. The list also includes many faith-based organizations. Many aid sites are experiencing overload, so be patient.

Families of Americans living in Haiti are encouraged to contact the State Department at 888-407-4747.

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