Regular readers know that from time to time I try to step outside of the world of sports and use whatever small level of influence I may have here at MSF to help good causes.
Unfortunately, as you surely know by now, a “good” cause was recently created by the tragic earthquake that struck Haiti.
I spent a good portion of the evening listening to TV reports from Haiti describing the utter destruction and despair consuming this already near-destitute nation. The reports are both gut wrenching and heart breaking.
What makes the reports even harder to watch is the ubiquitous feeling expressed by every reporter that the crescendo of horror in Haiti has not yet reached its zenith.
One of the words that I have heard used most often to describe the mood of the people in Haiti, at least in relation to how they are relating to eachother, is civil. However, there is an ominous expectation that if aid is not able to get to the people more efficiently and effectively, that mood of civility could soon be replaced by anxiety, anger, and the desperation of self- and family-preservation.
It is just a horrible, tragic, indescribably unfortunate situation.
Immediately upon hearing about the earthquake I navigated to the American Red Cross website to donate what little money I could afford for the relief effort. As soon as I am done writing this post I am going to donate a little bit more.
I tell you this only in hopes that it helps encourage you to do the same, should you be so inclined.
Granted, there is a logistical bottleneck that is delaying the receipt of aid by the people who need it. In my opinion though, that should not discourage us from giving what we can to help a society that has very little ability – if any – to help itself right now.
Here are some links where you can donate to help the people the Haiti. The one at the top is where I donated:
- American Red Cross International Response Fund
- Doctors Without Borders (who are using amazingly constructed inflatable hospitals to help treat people in Haiti like they did in 2005 when an earthquake struck Pakistan)
- Project Hope
- United Way Disaster Fund
For more resources, this article at USAToday.com lists many other places where you can donate to help the earthquake victims in Haiti.
Quick request: if you donate, please leave a comment. You don’t need to say how much you donated, but perhaps just seeing people contributing will help encourage others to follow suit.
Now, not that it should be necessary in any way to make this post relevant, but there is at least one decidedly Midwestern sports angle to this story; it involves Colts WR Pierre Garcon.
For two days after the initial tremors struck Port-au-Prince, Garcon had not heard from family members still in Haiti. Fortunately, Garcon was able to make contact with some of his relatives today. Some, however, still are unaccounted for:
A visibly drained Garçon said many of his family members still are unaccounted for. He appreciates the outpouring of support for the nation, but says more help is needed.
The second-year player says it’s difficult to focus on Saturday’s playoff game against Baltimore, but it’s “something you’ve got to do.”
Hopefully Pierre is able to hear from all of his relatives and they turn out to be okay.
Thank you for reading. Please donate what you can. The situation in Haiti is only going to get worse, but regardless of political leanings I hope that everyone can respect and identify with what President Obama said about the people Haiti earlier today:
“To the people of Haiti, we say clearly and with conviction, you will not be forsaken. You will not be forgotten.”
* – Picture of Haitian child: screen grab from BBC video
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