Images online, in print and on television of pain, suffering – chaos.
That’s what a 7.0 earthquake does to the most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Haitians suffering, while in America, we sit and watch – and text donations to the Red Cross by sending ‘Haiti’ to 90999.
Yes, it’s important to give. Open your wallets and purses, as these people need food, water, medications.But what happens after?
After the television images stop. After the New York Times pulls its correspondents and focuses on the Next Big Thing?
The Haitians will go on suffering. Their homes are rubble, the government is non-existent. Basic services do not exist. And won’t, unless aid continues far into the future.
We can look to our own failures in New Orleans to see what happens long-term.
And then the realization sinks in that because of a set of unfortunate incidents in your personal life has given you an incredible gift – the ability to go anywhere and do anything.
And helping those in Haiti seems like a good and noble thing to do.
You use contacts at the Red Cross and call the national headquarters. You’re asked if you’ve had medical training. You say you do not, but are willing to do whatever.
Alas, they say, what we can use now more than anything else is your money.
There still may be the opportunity to help in Haiti as the country rises from the rubble. Or, service may come in any number of places where help is desperately needed.
It’s something to look forward to doing.