Thursday, January 21, 2010

Haiti Web-a-thon (#haitiwebathon)

As many of you may have heard or seen on TV over the past week and a half, the island nation of Haiti had been hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake (and a series of significant aftershocks), crumbling the already impoverished nation and paralyzing almost all of its emergency services and vital infrastructure. For more information, check out the Wiki page. Needless to say, hundreds of thousands of Haitian citizens have died and many remain buried in the rubble. International rescue teams and aid groups have rushed to the scene and monetary contributions from all over the world started to pour in almost instantaneously.

This blog entry is a personal call from me to you, that we have a great responsibility as global citizens to give generously in aid of the citizens of Haiti. The impoverished and high ranked alike are struck to the ground and your money can help pull them upright again. Money is a creative power; it can create opportunities for survival, it can purchase food and water, it can recreate infrastructure. I pray that we will know money as powerful only in transaction; that only in donating generously will we balance the scales of power which have too long been tilted against our brothers and sisters in Haiti. And I pray for compassion and the understanding that these victims are not to blame for their circumstances, that it is now up to us to give joyfully in hope and love so that they will gain peace and dignity.

If you're into attending live shows as much as I am, make sure you check out CBC Radio 3's list of upcoming benefit concerts in aid of Haitian relief efforts.

And if you're anywhere near a TV tomorrow night (Jan 22), top personalities from the Canadian music, film, television and sports worlds have signed on for CANADA FOR HAITI, a one-hour, commercial-free special produced collaboratively between CBC Television, CTV and Global Television.

Canada for Haiti starts Friday January 22nd at:
7pm ET/PT, 8pm AT/MT, 8:30 NT, 9 CT
Hope for Haiti Now starts Friday January 22nd at:
7pm CT, 8 ET/PT, 9 CT/AT, 9:30 NT

For a list of Haiti relief organizations, check out this list compiled by the CBC.

Just a note about NGOs-- although the large ones like the Red Cross will be needed to sustain long term aid and restructuring, the people on the ground doing the most good right now are the small aid groups/individuals, whether charity- or missionary-based, which have been on the ground for considerably longer. They are more cognizant of the cultural differences, the language, and already have established relationships with the community. Many are feeding 20-30 people under their own roof at this time. Consider giving to them directly or the organizations who fund their living expenses.

Some that I have a personal connection to:
Apparent Project
Heart to Heart Haiti

But no matter whom you donate to, give generously!

Thank you very much.
Brenda Lee