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January 18, 2010

What does the history of Haiti and I have in common? Well, it appears that I was born on the anniversary of the earthquake which destroyed the Sans-Souci Palace on May 7, 1842. Haiti has a history of earthquakes, of which this was just one, but the one that is foremost in my thoughts and heart is the one that occurred just days ago on January 12, 2010 which has a death toll so far of over 200,000 people and has ravaged much of the infrastructure of Port-au-Prince.

Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the world, and the destruction is undeniably disastrous. The neighboring Dominican Republic was the first to give aid to the injured and the survivors of Haiti, putting aside the tensions that existed between the two nations. But the Dominican Republic also has limited resources, and there is great need in Haiti at this time to lend a hand.

I have been amazed at the response I have witnessed to this unfortunate event. Over and over, I see appeals for help from many different sources. Right away, we were informed about how we could donate directly to the Red Cross by text messaging 90999 on our cell phones. Royal Caribbean International is right in Port-Au-Prince helping out. Today, when I made a payment through eBay, I was given the opportunity to make a donation to Doctors Without Borders as I checked out. I, myself, have contributed through a few different channels, including the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund. Many organizations and special interest groups have donation pages available.

I heard today that the BBC reported that $200 million had been pledged by various foreign governments for aid and relief, and yet, that’s a fraction of the over $600 billion that has already been spent on the war in Iraq. We pay so much for what I believe is needless destruction. Can we come forth in a true humanitarian effort for our fellow human beings?

It really helps us to put things into perspective, doesn’t it? Anyone reading this is doing so at a computer keyboard. We have SO much. And over 3 million people have nothing, not to mention the thousands upon thousands who have lost their lives. I would like to think that we, as worldwide citizens, can rally round this cause and prove that we are part of a greater global community, with compassion and caring for those struck by such need as this.

If you haven’t yet done so, give what you can to help these folks.

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