Guest Author - Gayle E. Santana
As the world knows, the city of Port au Prince in Haiti has suffered the worst devastation in recent history from an earthquake that measured a 7.0 on the Richter scale. The death and destruction is unthinkable and aftershocks continue to add to the toll.
Put Yourself There
Imagine you are shopping for dinner at your local supermarket one evening when the ground begins to shake as though you were on a trampoline. You feel confused and then mortified as you watch the building begin to break apart. The lights go out but the building continues to fall around you. If you are unfortunate enough to remain conscious, you are feeling the pain of not only being struck by metal and concrete until you cannot move anymore, you are also privy to the cries of pain and anguish of those around you, possibly for days. Imagine your entire city completely destroyed and things like food, water, shelter and medical care almost non-existent.
Those who have managed to escape death have no choice but to continue to live in a nightmare. The people of Haiti have no place to go. All day and all night they are wandering and sleeping on the ground, if it is possible to sleep. This is their life. They will not be flown out. This is home and home will continue to be this way for many years to come.
What can we do to help?
Technology is playing a big role in raising money. Awareness, assistance in locating family and friends, and money has been raised through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Over $10 Million has been raised through simple phone texts. Many times in tragedies like this, people want to help but don’t know how or feel that they don’t have enough to share. The $5 and $10 texts encouraged by Yele Haiti, an organization formed by Haitian Born singer Wyclef Jean, and the American Red Cross have given a powerful platform for all who want to put their money where their heart is. The bottom line though is that Haiti will need our attention long after the cameras and news stories are focused elsewhere.
Coffee Lovers Pledge
As coffee lovers, let’s unite and take a step further to make a personal pledge of an amount we can afford every month for the next year or more. Let’s all drink a few less cups of coffee and give just a few dollars of our money to a place that is going to need our help for many years to come. Because no matter how badly we are doing, no matter what we are facing today, we are still so much better off than the people of Haiti right now. We cannot turn our backs on people who need our help so desperately.
Are you with me?
New York Daily News Photos
Ways to donate:
American Red Cross
To donate $10, text “Haiti” to 90999
White House, “Help for Haiti”
To donate $5, text “Yele” to 501501