There can only be one topic today. Please consider giving to the effort to support the people in Haiti.
Tens of thousands of people have perished or are trapped, but hundreds of thousands need water and medical treatment. The appeal is very clear: we can’t send them used clothes or other goods; there’s no way to ship them there. The relief agencies need funds to purchase water and medical supplies. The hospitals in Port-au-Prince collapsed. There are some hospitals inland that are functioning, but transportation for the injured is problematic. This is a case in which we have to trust the relief agencies to do their work with means we provide.
There are scores of relief agencies: UNICEF, the Red Cross, Oxfam, The Clinton Foundation and so on. All are worthy of our support. All have staffs already in place, prior to this catastrophe. It’s your choice. Some of these agencies have set up text messaging to enable instantaneous donations; that’s very impressive. No matter what agency you choose, today is the day, not tomorrow or next week. A few dollars each from a million people is several million dollars and will at least give some thousands of our fellow humans a chance to survive with what the agencies can do with those funds. Text or go online or call.
Here, our choice is Doctors Without Borders, whose existing medical facility was destroyed, but who have significant experience in providing critical medical care in the world’s direst circumstances, and have experienced people who were already working in Haiti. They have an excellent record of use of donor funds. Here’s a link.
The only message that is clear, from Bill Clinton in his role as U.N. Special Envoy, from the agencies, from the officials at U.S. AID and everwhere else is that we must not think we can help with donations of shoes or blankets or canned goods. There is no infrastructure to ship hard goods there. The agencies need purchasing power to get thousands of tons of water and food and medical supplies shipped there. Later, we will be able to donate goods, but our cash can save lives now.