Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti: How Can We Help?

Hearing and seeing news reports about the devastation in Haiti is heart-wrenching. The immediate question: How can we help?

First off, you can donate quickly and efficiently through your cell phone. Simply text "Haiti" to 90999, and a 10 dollar donation will be charged to your cell phone bill.

Many wonderful agencies are doing work in Haiti. One terrific one is Compassion International. Do consider giving through this very respected and trustworthy organization.

And if you're a praying person, pray for the situation...for the victims, for the relief and recovery efforts, and that God will be glorified even in this catastrophe.

Here's some info about Compassion's involvement in Haiti previously and in the current crisis, from a talking points sheet provided to 101QFL:

Compassion in Haiti

• Compassion’s work in Haiti began in 1968.
• Currently, more than 64,600 children participate in 230 child development centers. At least one-third of
Compassion’s centers are in the area hardest hit by the earthquake.
• Compassion partners with churches to help them provide Haitian children with the opportunity to rise
above their circumstances and become all God has created them to be.

What is Compassion Doing?

Without communication, we don’t have specifics for this crisis. But our Compassion guidelines for disaster
response spell out pretty specifically what the field should do and can do in response to a crisis.


In the immediate few hours after a disaster, Compassion locates those Compassion-assisted children and
families who have been affected by the disaster, and provide them with the following:

• Temporary Shelter: Shelter needed to remove the families out of the elements and into safety. Items
like tents, tarps, blankets & mosquito nets are often supplied.
• Basic Sanitation: Items such as latrines and temporary hand washing station.
• Cooking Utensils & Fuel: Things like pots and pans, plates, cups, eating utensils, as well as a means for
cooking food item
• Emergency Clothing: 2-3 day supply of clothing for each family member.
• Preventive Health Services: Control of communicable diseases (e.g. measles, malaria) and outbreak
control (e.g. cholera, meningitis, typhoid) needed to ensure health is not negatively affected as a result of
the disaster.

Compassion staff will also set up a temporary meeting area called a “child area”, and stock it with crayons; paper; stuffed animals, etc. A “child area” is described as a safe place for registered children & their siblings to
go during the aftermath of a disaster. Here they can find comfort in activities (such as coloring & games) as
well as support and encouragement from project staff.

Click on the Compassion button at the top of this post to give.

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