Jan 14, 2010

Five Ways You Can Help Haiti Right Now

With the tremendous disaster ongoing in Haiti at this moment, many people are pulling together to help. Being a small island, with one airport to its name {which was terribly damaged in the earthquake} it’s apparently ridiculously hard getting aide workers to the devastated country to bring much-needed food and medicine. But larger organizations are making their way in, slowly but surely, and as they do they are asking for help. While Haiti is a more tropical nation, and does not need our hand-knits, they do need much from us as a community. Here are five ways you can help the people of Haiti today, in ten minutes or less and for as little as $10.  

Light candles, lift up prayers, send good thoughts. No matter what your religion, the people of Haiti need our collective spiritual good will right now. Taking a few minutes to light a candle or burn some incense and lift up prayers and good thoughts for Haitians right now may seem fruitless, but it can be one of the most powerful things you can do. Some things to pray for include: quick relief in the form of food and medical supplies, space for a time to mourn their devastating losses {sometimes we expect people affected by devastation to “buck up” a bit too fast}, the global community to continue to help Haiti after the initial devastation has been dealt with, and a strong and sustained rebuilding effort.

 Donate through the Red Cross. The Red Cross has made it super easy to donate – simply text “Haiti” on your phone to 90999, and they’ll receive $10. It will be automatically charged to your next phone bill, and the money raised will go directly to aide for Haiti.

 Donate to the Matador Network. The Matador Network has organized over 250 volunteers to head down to Haiti and assist in the rebuilding efforts. They are looking for monetary donations to help these volunteers, as well as donations of basic medical supplies (see their website for a list of what they need).  

Donate to Knitters Without Borders. The Yarn Harlot has mobilized her Knitters Without Borders to assist Doctors Without Borders in a large way. You can donate directly to the Haiti effort, with your donations to DWB going directly to the workers who were already stationed in Haiti, as well as to bringing in supplies with the groups of DWB workers being flown in as we speak. Bonus for you? If you e-mail Step after you donate, you will be entered to win prizes.  

Keep updated with Konbit Sante (that’s their Facebook page). If you read Soulemama, you’ll remember her drive to get hats to add to safe birthing kits for this amazing organization working with women in Northern Haiti. They are saying they were not hit quite as bad from the earthquake, but are now in very real danger of floods, so they are still struggling. They will be reaching out for help once they figure out what is most needed, so keep updated with them for another tangible way to help.

There are so many other ways to donate, to help out the people of Haiti. As the immediate needs of food, medical care, and transportation into the country are met, the greater needs of shelter, ongoing care and even issues with refugees will become huge issues. Here at One Hundred Hats, I am looking for the best ways to help meet immediate needs (donating money until it hurts), and will also continue to explore ways we as a community can band together to bring more long-standing aide. Hug your loved ones today!

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