Much like I did with Hurricane Katrina and 9/11/01.
I've come awfully close to tears, then realize that all the cried tears in the world do nothing to help those who inch closer and closer to desperation and chaos.
Acting and speaking contrarily is not rescuing anyone from the ruins, it does not give someone who needs it a few sips of water, a swath of sterile bandage and a five-day supply of antibiotics.
Neither is giving those who are behaving so poorly an even brighter spotlight by grumbling over those words going to inflate a hospital or innovate, then construct, new means of ingress into Haiti.
I will say that after hearing and seeing the babble about the pact, I came as close as I dared to dumping Christianity as my religion of choice. Then, I considered the source and, with each passing day, he has less and less time on this world and has to reconcile himself with his maker sooner rather than later. He and his lot will take care of themselves and are nothing more than a gnat flying in our collective face on a lazy, roasting and damp summer afternoon on the East Coast.
How to be of help from where we are? HuffPo has a link to causecast.org where one can purchase supplies then have them shipped to where they are needed, just as soon as it can be sent.
What are the next steps?
- The Grameen foundation (see the badge on the left) has had a presence in Haiti for some time. How better to help someone by investing in their time and talent and giving them a basic education on personal economics, growing their small business and saving for their children's future.
- Make a note on your calendar to make a second donation to the charity of your choice two weeks from now and, if you are blessed with steady employment, see if your charity will accept a rolling donation, which draws a steady donation from you at regular intervals. Gifts are great, but reliable sources of income are invaluable to non-profit/charitable organizations.
- Clean out your closet.
When supplies were pouring into NYC, Washington DC and, later in the previous decade, New Orleans, there were only so many ways to get to the cities and far too many trucks, boats, etc. that could drive/dock and unload. Supplies have had to have been turned away because there was no way to get those supplies to those who needed them.
By cleaning out your closets, you will discover what you need and what you can forego. Once your pile of "what you can forego" is completed upon your closet cleaning, donate what you can do without to those in your neighborhood who would appreciate having those things.
By donating to local charities, the local charities need to rely less on larger non-profit organization and government funding. The funding they receive can then be redirected to provide further aid to the people of Haiti.
It is not important that your box of hand-me-downs gets shipped across the country and through half of the Carribean. You stand a much better chance of having those gifts used where you are then where you want it to be used.
You get a more spacious closet. Someone else gets something so much more.