The Haiti Earthquake

The land of Papa Doc hasn’t changed much since he left. Corrupt government still rules and the people of Haiti still feed their children mud cakes so their little bellies are full. Katie Couric, who has over the last year, risen in my estimation to that of a damned fine news person, said it best – live from Haiti (paraphrased), “All we’ve seen are armed gangs looting the area and other people walking the streets in tears, calling for missing loved ones.”

I understand peoples’ reticence and anger where donations are concerned; relief money sent to Haiti in the past seems to have disappeared into the President’s pocket. It’s not hitting its mark. That didn’t stop me from donating to the Red Cross a couple of days ago. At least where the Red Cross is concerned, if their books are to be believed (yes, I research the books of charities so I can make an informed decision – you can too, it’s the Freedom of Information Act that let’s you do so), 70% or more of every dollar actually goes right into the field with the volunteers. That’s impressive so they get my hard-earned.

The bottom line for me is, though politically I’m staunchly opposed to the regime in Haiti, the people there require assistance and a lot of it. Bless Couric and her staff for telling it like it is, as well as the USA Today people who also have a clear eye to reporting facts and not fiction or maudlin and heart-warming stories. What we require in these situations is fact. I don’t care what celebrities are on board with relief efforts, I don’t care if that idiot evangelist is bellowing about Satan – what I care about is getting money, knowledgeable hands, food, medicine, Marines and clean water to Haiti. If the Red Cross can do that – and they can – then I hope y’all will help them out.

NOTE: To send $10 via text, simply send HAITI to 90999. Carriers participating in the program are Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile, Cellular South. If you require a receipt for your donation, you can get one here.

2 thoughts on “The Haiti Earthquake

  1. Lee Haslup

    The current situation provides a temporary opportunity to donate money to help the Haitian people and have it actually go to helping the Haitian people. The government infrastructure in Haiti was so badly damaged in the earthquake that it is simply not up to the task of misappropriating all that money.

    Since the current bottlenecks are logistical, as opposed to political, donations should be concentrated in the large, established aid organizations which are better able to coordinate their efforts with the US military taskforce that is managing the Port au Prince airport and other Haitian transportation resources. The smaller NGOs, however well intended and carefully targetted, simply cannot get there right now.

  2. Chesley V. Morton

    One would hope that aid would find it’s way to the people who actually need it…in a perfect world. I’m sure the Red Cross will use their aid dollars to the best effect. But the Red Cross will only control a tiny portion of the effort. Massive amounts of money (from the US government, the UN, etc.) will finds it’s way back into the pockets of the corrupt regime, and the President’s palace will be rebuilt (hopefully by a different contractor) and the gang members will take their cut, and the long-suffering people of Haiti will continue to suffer. The lives of the afflicted will not be uplifted, and no fundamental changes for the better will take place. That, in the end, is far worse than any earthquake.

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