What Do We Do About Haiti?
- 2010 20 Jan
I can't think of another place that has suffered this kind of natural disaster that I've actually been to and had plans to go to again.
Haiti is on my heart and mind today like it probably is for almost every other person I know. And we feel stuck.
I may have the unique view that I can picture the streets of downtown Port-au-Prince, that I met children in an orphanage there, that I just emailed back and forth with someone who lives there this past week, that my plans may be changed completely for what was supposed to be a life-changing experience for me and my son.
But I'm not unique in the feeling of what can I possibly do from here? I see a few options.
Curl up into the fetal position and curse God and wonder how things can go to hell in a hand basket.
Obsess with worry and fear and helplessness.
Not think about it at all because I can't see it from my house.
I think you just might know me well enough by now to know where I land.
But what can any one of us do when we are sitting over here in our warm houses in front of a computer with our beverage of choice nearby and our healthy kids playing in the next room? (Insert your life's details into that question.)
A couple things. Really. There are a couple things you can actually do.
First and foremost, pray. Pray for those who are literally lost in the rubble as we speak. Pray for the parents looking for children and children looking for parents. Pray for help to make it there. Pray for all those who want to help to work well together, not making things worse by stirring up the chaos.
Give. I know things are tight, but you know what? That's just an excuse. Do you realize how far our money could go if we all gave ten bucks today? I'm not kidding. Just don't have three of your fancy coffees this month… you'll be fine. And if you're wondering who to give to, here are two trustworthy options: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/ and http://www.redcross.org/.
(An aside: today is not the day to start the debate up of why should we help all the way over there when people are hurting right here. If that's your opinion, then give ten bucks to the Salvation Army down the street and ten bucks to help Haiti. People are people.)
Do. Do what? What can you do from here really?
- Spread the word. Use Twitter, Facebook, your blog, email. Just pick a solid organization that is trying to do something and then tell everyone you know to support it.
- Go on with your life. I don't mean this with a cavalier attitude. I mean, cook your family a good meal tonight, with gratitude. Hug your kids a bit longer. Cuddle with them on the couch and watch their favorite show. Color a picture with them. Play a game with your family. Call your mom or your sister or your best friend and tell them you love them.
I'm serious. Let moments like this that can rock our world, no pun intended, do just that. Let them remind you that life is short and tough but we can love and hope and pray.
Okay, stop reading now. Go take one little action. And say a prayer.
January 20, 2010
(c) Elisabeth K. Corcoran, 2010
Elisabeth lives her with husband and children in Illinois. She is the author of He Is Just That Into You: Stories of a Faithful God who Pursues, Engages, and Has No Fear of Commitment (WinePress), In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother's Heart (Xulon), and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom's Weary Soul (Kregel). All of her books can be purchased on Amazon or through her website at www.elisabethcorcoran.com.
You can follow her on Twitter at ekcorcoran or friend her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/people/Elisabeth-Klein-Corcoran/1301703500.
Watch Elisabeth and her friends spread hope through Africa with Samaritan's Purse at http://www.vimeo.com/7919582.
*Article image courtesy of Samaritanspurse.org.