The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti suffered a mighty 7.0 magnitude earthquake ripping Port-Au-Prince sending shockwaves as far as the United States and Jamaica in the Caribbean. I did not feel the quake but I do feel the pain and the agony that the Haitian people must be feeling. Imagine a country with poor infrastructure, poor people, ¾ of the population unemployed, most government agencies destroyed, mass graves etc etc. That is how impoverished the Haitian people are today. Forget about the US dollars you hear they live on, when it rains in Haiti it pours causing major flooding. I am grateful that it isn’t raining there because it would have been a worse position to be in for rescue efforts. To say their lives were better would be an understatement but in 30 seconds everything changed. As one survivor puts it “it happened so fast”.

President's Palace

Before Tuesday none of us were thinking of Haiti, we may have known the grim realities there. We were busy trying to ride through our own mountains – unemployment, recession. For now, others are suffering and they need our attention. Today and for many more months and years Haiti will be seeking all the help they can get to rebuild the country they once had.

In the past days, many charity organizations and corporate entities have been furiously soliciting funds and clothing for the millions of people who have been dislocated from their homes. Jamaicans, Americans, Canadians, Russians and others around the world are playing their role in assisting the Haitians. Because of Jamaica’s proximity to Haiti it will be the last check point before all the donations arrive in Haiti from the Caribbean region.

I must say I have been addicted to the coverage of the Haitian Earthquake on CNN and online (Twitter and the various online news agencies) and I am now taking a break to pen this post. It has been a wonderful coverage from CNN. They may be low in ratings on politics in the US but they are performing excellently in bringing the latest news over there in Haiti. It was reported earlier today that the Haitian people are becoming more frustrated with relief efforts. This and many other things like looting, breakout of diseases, more of the injured dying etc can be expected as the country still without basic amenities like electricity and water supply heal from the tragic event.

We may never go to Haiti or see the place with our own eyes. I am sure you have seen the images and videos from the area as they tell a grim tale of what happened on Tuesday. As the days go by we will be bombarded with advertisements pleading to donate funds to help with the relief efforts there. You can HELP!

Tips on Helping Haiti

  1. Donate only to established agencies.
  2. Do not provide confidential information when donating funds.
  3. Be wary of scammers who are on the loose because more people are giving.
  4. Give with love and a grateful heart.

You may be wondering how you can help. I would suggest sending money. There are many text lines open to donate to the Haitian people in their darkest moment.

I texted to my local line here in Jamaica and it felt good. I received a text later saying that “To date Jamaica has raised J$2.3 million for the Haiti Relief Fund.” That is equivalent to US $25, 813.69. Oh damn. I seriously thought it would have translated higher. Oh well, there you go. Goes to show how weak my Jamaican dollar is.

I texted 'HELP'

To the Number 162

Confirmation

Further Confirmation

Go donate. You can HELP! Watch your money feed those hungry people.

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