January 21, 2010

Give, Oh Give

Well, I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, but for some reason, I haven’t been able to get it out on “virtual” paper. So, I guess I’ll just start here. I started a new section in my sidebar awhile ago to highlight some of the charities or other worthy causes that I like. It seems only appropriate to keep adding to that list. Soon, I’ll have to turn it into a feature because there won’t be any room left. =)

This past week, a woman from my church took a moment to speak about Haiti. Apparently, she’s from Haiti, which I hadn’t realized. There are a lot of people and we haven’t had a chance to meet them all yet. She’s a delightful woman and also has a lovely voice, which we all got to enjoy during the Christmas program last month. In light of recent events, she just wanted to tell everyone at once that her family was alright but that we should keep the people of Haiti in our prayers.

I don’t hear much about what’s going on these days. I used to listen to the news everyday on the radio on my way to work. Since the change in my schedule, I haven’t really worked out what my daily routine will be yet. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard about the earthquakes in Haiti, but it might as well have been, since I hadn’t really given it a lot of thought.

Pictures from the Boston Globe

The next day, as I was channel surfing during breakfast, I saw a story about a man who stood outside the remains of the building that had been his wife’s workplace every day since the earthquake. Days after the catastrophe, it’s now unlikely that they will find a lot of people still alive who have been trapped in the rubble. But, this man was still hopeful--he knew there could be a chance, so he wasn’t going to give up until he found out for sure.


And sure enough, that day, he heard a voice--a feminine voice. It was his wife, and she was trapped and her fingers were broken, among other injuries. Rescue efforts are working as fast as they can, but unfortunately, they are in need of even more resources. They were able to get her water and feed her a microphone so she could talk to her husband. She wanted to make sure he knew she loved him, in case she still did not survive. After awhile, they were able to get a rescue team and the equipment they needed to get her out. And get her out, they did. As they pulled her onto the stretcher, she began to sing hymns as she smiled through her pain. After she was treated, she drove off with her husband, with whom she had been speedily reunited.

It was a great story and brought emotions to the surface. Others may not be so lucky, but it was wonderful to hear such a story of hope at a time when there has been so much death. You can watch this story below from the Today show, similar circumstances happening to several families.

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It’s wonderful that people are answering the call from all over the world to help these people who are in so much need. Not only to rescue those who are trapped, but to bury those who have died, and to feed and clothe and shelter the survivors. And in the months to come--rebuild a country.

There are many ways to give. Here are a few I’ve heard of:

red cross
The Red Cross was founded in 1881, and I don’t think I have to tell you what amazing work they do. There are many different funds you can donate to through the Red Cross to benefit Haiti. View those here.

stiller strong
If you are a fan of Conan O’Brien, you may have already heard of this charity. The organization is the brain child of Ben Stiller, who is working with Save the Children (through which you can also donate) to improve education in Haiti. Right now, they are donating all funds to the relief effort. Click here to learn more.

hope for haiti now
Oprah is doing her part. Download these songs today and the proceeds to will to Hope for Haiti Now, a relief concert benefit going on this weekend in London. Click here to download Rihanna. There will be a telethon on Friday as well. Click here for details.

lds humanitarian services
I know about this one because it’s my church. Your own churches may also have avenues for donations to Haiti. One thing I like about it is that the work is based on volunteer service, freeing up costs, so that %100 of the money donated goes directly to the area of need. Although, I know the Red Cross and other charities do great work as well. I have been a recipient of disaster relief (gas leak) before, so I know our local chapter does an excellent job. But, I like donating this way, too. To learn more, click here.

This is by no means an exclusive list--there are many worthy charities out there doing great things to help. If you’d like to investigate other ways to give, you can view this list from the Today show, too.

I'm small I know but wherever I go
The grass grows greener still
Singing, singing all the day
Give, oh give away

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