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Our Thoughts and Prayers are with Haitians

You have all heard and read about the devastating earthquake in Haiti a couple of days back. At the time of this blog, there are no official estimates of injured or dead, but it is expected that these numbers will be well into the 5 (maybe even 6) figures. The images coming out of Port-au-Prince, Haiti are catastrophic.

It is sad to see the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere see such vast destruction. For logistical reasons, support is slow to move in but the world community is ready to help. USAID and Chinese aid agencies have already started to move in with teams of dogs to clear the rubble and rescue the trapped. There are stories coming out that missionaries have changed their objectives from "religious instruction for Baptist Haitian pastors" to providing direct medical services to the injured.

Needless to say, our thoughts and prayers are with the Haitians. The question on everyone’s mind is, “What can I do to help?” Here are a few suggestions:
  • If you have disaster relief experience, or you are a doctor or nurse, or have knowledge about phone service, water service, sanitation and engineering, you can register with the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI). Because of high demand, the site may be slow.
  • Contact local groups who may have mobilized relief in Haiti and ask them how you can help. You can start by Googling “Haiti help {statename}.”
  • Donate money to a variety of organizations helping in the relief effort including Save the Children, World Vision, American Red Cross and our favorite, Partners In Health. Why is PIH our favorite, just Google “Zanmi Lasante” and you will know.
  • Refrain from donating supplies. Instead, donate cash. This is because it is difficult to get donated supplies to relief areas because of shipping and storage costs.
  • Lastly, educate yourself on not just the current devastation in Haiti, but the history and people of Haiti. An excellent book we recommend is by Pulitzer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder called Mountains Beyond Mountains.

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