Here I was, all ready to blog about my recent trip to California, when I received the following email from my cousin Danielle:
Many of you may not have known that I am very involved with Haiti. I was just there in November, and this disaster is awful. If you have not already given support, I urge you to support them through Haitian Ministries. Another parish in Hartford will match their donations up to $10,000. This doubles our support. http://www.haitianministries.org
Haitian Ministries supports orphanages, hospitals and job creation. Jillian Thorpe is our liaison there, she was crushed in the mission house and her husband was able to save her.
Thank you for all of your support and thoughts.
Today, most of my thoughts and energies have been directed toward Lane Kiffin and reliving my earlier travel adventures, and it's been easy enough to forget about the estimated 100,000 dead from the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that ravaged the country Tuesday.
Danielle and her family have visited Haiti on multiple occasions, and as I read more accounts of the tragedy, I was reminded of the stories she would tell. I remembered that you could see the dividing line between Haiti and the Dominican Republic from the air simply because the D.R. had trees, and Haiti didn't.
I remembered hearing tales of families living in massive garbage mounds, where massive forests once stood. Many live in shacks, pieced together amid the squalor, and live by finding food or spare parts to make trinkets in the landfills. I remember seeing jewelry cobbled together from fishing line and other refuse and sold to tourists in order to buy food.
The people of Haiti are among the poorest and worst-educated in the world, and all of this was before the massive earthquake that leveled the capital of Port-au-Prince.
My cousin's church in Connecticut is matching donations up to $10,000, so your hard-earned cash can go twice as far. The web site to donate is http://www.haitianministries.org. If you can't donate, please at least keep the people struggling in your thoughts and prayers, and don't forget about the ones born into more difficult circumstances than you. There was so much work to be done before the earthquake, and now a bad situation has gotten so much worse. It's time to do whatever we can to help.