She's right. I look around.
I have beans
while I was sleeping in a bed.
The beans are cooking on a gas stove.
There are strawberries ripening in the garden and chard bolting.
I have pets...
I have electricity and access to multiple communication technologies.
My car sits out front
and there is gasoline in it
and the road, busy with travelers looking for summer fun,
is smooth and safe
"I have had situations when I walk down the streets in Haiti and a woman tries to give me her child. “Are you American?” She asks and when I respond she thrusts her infant into my arms. She begs me to take him to this place she has heard of, this place that had so much to offer. "
This is a young American writing...she's "out there."
July 17,2010 The news stories that came out on the six month mark of the earthquake seemed to indicate that NGO's, non governmental organizations, have been able to do the most in Haiti, especially those that were already on the ground. But the needs that exist have hardly been touched. The news pictures of the tents lined in the median strip of a road really got me. Unimaginable.
What can I do? PICK a group that is doing something in Haiti that I feel I can trust and support it as able. If you know someone involved consider supporting them. Maybe you know an active church group, a specific orphanage or you might prefer a widely known group like Doctors with Borders, World Vision, World Relief or Red Cross.
We remember extra blankets in our cupboards that we are willing to send out when cold hits, but there is often no way to get them to those in need once the blizzard blows. Giving works best if it is in place before the great needs hit. The folks who gave to Shelter Box before the earthquake hit on January 12th are the ones who sent those wonderful supplies into that fray. In January, touched by the needs of Haiti, I gave to Shelter Box. I wanted to send the tents and shovels and emergency supplies right into that mess we were all watching televised. On the 2nd of July I received a letter stating that "my shelter box" will soon be deployed and I can go on line and via the assigned box number track where the box goes. Maybe the disaster this box will go to hasn't happened yet.
Many of the on-going troubles in Haiti exist because life was "hard" before the earthquake and now loss, need, and complications to survival are greatly multiplied.
It's all about infrastructure...the basics that allow things to happen: roads to get where you need to go, safe water supply, sewer systems, power supply, communication grids, emergency response. These are the basic physical and organizational structures that allow us to get on with our days in a organized society.
But we best not take all these wonders for granted...
So be prepared yourself ...and give now.