Saturday, January 16, 2010

Help Haiti

The news from Haiti has been heartbreaking. With current estimates of as many as 50,000 dead, this is a terrible tragedy. If relief efforts are not quick and effective many more will die. The threat of deaths from outbreaks of deadly decease and deaths from thirst and starvation and violence is very real. The human suffering is unimaginable and could get much worse.

Even in good times there are no good times in Haiti. It is one of the world’s hellholes. It is one of the poorest and least developed countries of the world. The average person lives on less than $2 per day. It is not for lack of assistance that Haiti is poor. The world has forgiven debt and poured untold treasure into Haiti to see it stolen by the series of corrupt dictators who have ruled that nation. Haiti was a basket case before this disaster and will be so long after it is forgotten.

Haiti is also one of the least healthy countries of the world, ravaged by AIDS and diseases that hardly exist elsewhere. The per capita annual expenditure on health care is about $67 compared to over $6000 in the U.S. With malnutrition the norm and an unhealthy population anyway, the Haitian people are more vulnerable to death from starvation and disease following the devastation of the quake than would be the people of other nations.

Last night I was flipping channels and landed on one of the religious channels and PTL was reporting on the Haitian disaster and then made a pitch for contributions for Haitian relief. I don’t know how much of the money raised for Haitian relief through PTL will actually go to Haitian relief but I would not give them a dime. I just don’t trust them. People who live in numerous mansions scattered around the country and who fly in their private luxurious jet and raise their money by begging for contribution from widows living on social security are not gong to be trusted with my charitable contributions.

There are many worthwhile charitable organizations raising funds for Haitian relief, but unfortunately there are many charlatans, poorly managed charities, and people with their own agenda raising money. Please know who you are giving to and don’t be scammed. Just because someone can tug at the heartstrings does not mean they are doing the Lord’s work.

Please don’t sent money to a foreign bank account or contribute on the internet or respond to a telephone solicitation from an organization you never heard of without checking them out. I always feel comfortable contributing to the American Red Cross but there are plenty of other good organizations. Other charities that I feel good about are World Relief, Doctors without Borders, and Oxfam, but of course there are also many other worthwhile organizations.

I have made my contribution and urge everyone to do so and to help bring relief to the suffering of Haiti and to help avert a larger disaster. Other than pray and contribute there is not much most of us can do. Do what you can.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

1 comment:

  1. The Red Cross is a great organization. If you ever want to help a region that doesn't get wide spread news as opposed to the huge disasters, what we did at the Unitarian Church was to work with the Catholic Church. They have churches nearly everywhere on the planet and can get aid to the people who need it most while they take care of the administration costs themselves.