My heart goes out to the people in Haiti. I can not even imagine the enormity of the devastation in that poor country. I have a little bit of an insight and I thought that I might share.
I served my mission in the Dominican Republic, the country on the other half of the island. I have never seen such poor circumstances in my life. People lived in houses made out of smashed tin cans and roofs made of thatched straw. Most homes had dirt floors. I saw families with 8 children all sharing one bed in a house the size of what we would consider a normal sized bedroom here in the states.
I saw children die of malnutrition. I saw people working in sweatshops for 60-80 hours a weeks to earn $100 a week. I saw their hospitals where there would be 12 people in an unconditioned room with mosquito nets and rats running around the floors. I saw prisons so packed full of people that they were literally on top of each other.
The Dominican Republic is an absolutely gorgeous country but, it is considered a third world country. If the Dominican Republic is a third world country, Haiti must be a 5th world country. People there have absolutely nothing. The government is weak and the country has no building codes. They were not at all prepared for a disaster at all let alone one of this magnitude. Housing and census records are not kept and it is nearly impossible to know who lives where. I am sure that it will be a tremendous effort to find, account for and know exactly who all of those people are.
I am heart sick at looking at the pictures of mothers, fathers and children that have lost their homes, their loved ones and each other. I know that they love their families just as much as I love mine and can not imagine what they are going through.
As much as we wish that we could personally go and help, it is not a reasonable suggestion for most of us. However, I urge you to donate to the cause of helping Haiti, if you are able.
Here are some verified ways that you can donate.
1. Text “Haiti” to “90999” to donate $10 to the Red Cross. You can also click HERE for more info from the Red Cross.
2. Text “Yele” to “501501” to donate $5 to Yele Haiti. Wyclef of the Black Eyed Peas has set up this foundation to permanently improve the lives of the Haitians. Haiti is his home country. Click HERE for more information.
3. I am LDS if you didn’t already know that. Contributing to the LDS Church Humanitarian Aid fund is a sure way of knowing all your money will go to useful aid, because none is used for administration or fund-raising, and everything going to Haiti will be carefully distributed to those in need, regardless of their religious affiliation. The LDS Church has already started sending down massive amounts of supplies to the suffering nation. Click HERE for more details.