Monday, January 25, 2021

Hope Amid Helplessness for Haiti

January 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Activism

Watching all the devastation following the earthquake in Haiti Tuesday, I couldn’t help but feel — like so many of us watching it unfold– absolutely helpless.

When you see the magnitude of the tragedy in photos, videos … it’s just unfathomable.

I recently posted about my own family’s house fire, and our loss pales in comparison to a tragedy like this.

When you realize that the capital city is literally in shambles … 50,000 or more lives have been lost …

Or that even before the quake, unemployment in Haiti reaches 70 percent nationally and that 78 percent of Haitians live on less than $2 a day … you realize what a dire situation it is in Haiti right now.

I know for me, it made me want to help … and makes me so very grateful for what I have.

It also made blogging about anything else (i.e., strictly body image-oriented) seem, frankly, trivial. Men, women, and children in the capital city have been stripped of everything … and they need our help.

Like many Americans and global citizens around the world, I donated via text message, the American Red Cross’s Web site, and through United Way Worldwide, trying to help where I could.

When I look at photos and videos and see the human impact, those monetary donations have a face: they will help men, women and children get basic needs such as medical care, food, water, and shelter …

Still, it left me feeling a little helpless; wishing I could do more.

I’m not a doctor or a nurse, or a relief worker … so it’s not like I can hop a plane. Yet I felt I could do my part, and donating and spreading the word on Twitter and Facebook — seeing the global response — helped me recognize that I felt helpless, but not hopeless.

Witnessing the global community come together for a cause like this –particularly during a world-wide recession–is an amazing display of humanity, and speaks volumes of our society at large.

And this display of humanity made me feel hopeful for the people of Haiti; that they will get through this with the incredible support from communities all around the world. It’s a tragedy of monumental proportions, but even in that tragedy, there is hope.

If you’d like to contribute to the relief efforts, you can do so in a variety of ways. This link (via Mashable) offers 9 ways to help. Please donate if you can. Human lives are literally depending on it.

I have high hopes that together, as a community of women and activists  here at WeAretheRealDeal, we can offer (or continue to offer) support to the men, women, and children of Haiti.


No Responses to “Hope Amid Helplessness for Haiti”
  1. julie says:

    Dominican Republic shook too, but has a lot more rebar. I have a lot more respect for our building codes now. I wish there was better reaction to these catastrophes, even in the easiest of places, relief effort is still difficult. I hope water, food, medical help, etc., actually gets in and makes it to those who really need it. And shame to Rush, Pat.

  2. lissa10279 says:

    David Brooks wrote a really interesting piece on this called The Underlying Tragedy (re: global poverty) —

    Amen, Julie–shame on them.

  3. Nell says:

    My family has strong ties to the Red Cross, and two of my (closer) relatives have been on call/in line to be sent to Haiti soon. We will give them care packages to take along, as many as they can take. Individual help on-site is sometimes so much more efficient than the relief centers, even if on a small scale.

    As for me in Germany, I got in touch with our local Red Cross rep and asked what I could do to help aside from direct monetary donations. He asked that we spread the word around the workplace so I’ve badgered my boss into putting up posters in our lobby and giving some to the other firms we work with.. We’ve also started a donation drive…

    Still, I hate being helpless in the face of human suffering. My brother is cursing that he’s not far enough along in his med studies to go himself. My best friend’s brother has gone to Haiti already (he’s a surgery intern). My mom is offering to go saying she can just as easily do water analysis on the spot with her lab training, and she and her co-workers have offered to buy soon-to-expire chemicals for cleaning water and emergency med kits from her workplace to send over, too. The lab has offered to match their bought ones with their own donation.

    Well, I guess I’m just used to a more hands-on approach at helping people. Now I really feel guilty for buying all those DVDs for myself (thus maxing out my budget for this month), though… but not hopeless. Lissa, you always find the right words to motivate me! People here are a lot less attentive to what’s happening over in Haiti, and since it’s not Christmas they are really not all that inclined to donate (seriously, it’s like there’s a rule here: Donate only around Christmas!). I’ve been thinking of maybe visiting the local Medecins Sans Frontiers office and ask if they need any help. Maybe we can ask local pharmacies/pharma companies to donate some wound dressing material that’s close to the expiration date? I know of at least one company manufacturing dental surgery equipment that has donated a crate-full of single-use scalpels.

    *g* Guess I’m playing the lawyer card to the max, too. Personal contacts all the way!

    <– off to work again (plus try to get people to pay more attention to Haiti!)

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