Monday, January 25, 2010

"The Worst Natural Disaster in the Western Hemisphere..."

Headlines like these and their accompanying images of hopelessness and misery in Haiti continue to be stupefyingly tragic.

Just one thought of my Jackson or Caroline or Ellison or Charlotte wandering the streets hungry, thirsty, crying, bleeding, freaked-out, or lonely sends me into an
insomniatic tailspin. I'm a haggard wreck.

At 2:00am I am wondering what desperate Haitian voodoo prayers are being uttered.
(98% of Haitians practice some form of voodoo...very interesting...I'm Wikipedia-ing it right now).
At 2:30am I wonder why basic supplies of food, water, medicine, aren't reaching the general population.
I silently obsess over the logistical nightmares.

When my kids are thirsty, I get them water. Almost immediately.
When they are hungry, they get food. Always.

While I believe that God's Plan of Salvation does not exempt
mankind from natural and physical laws and truths, it doesn't
make the idea of intense human suffering any more palatable.

Conversely, the compassion and charity shown by our fellowmen from
around the world to this beat-down country has been
miraculous and inspiring.

My friend Lonni has some interesting insights on Haiti, as
she spent some time there investigating some "death scams" when she worked for CBS.
Read her story and see some unbelieveable photos HERE.
This image below is particularly haunting.

(photo courtesy of Lonni's blog, taken in 1998)

Caroline and her pals Brooklyn and O'Reilly hosted a bake sale--$13.40 raised.$13.40 donated.

A few days later, humanitarian hygiene kits were assembled in our garage. Neighbors and friends flocked over to help assemble them and donated many of the items. The Dollar Store carries every item for these hygiene kits (soap, hand towels, toothbrushes, combs, toothpaste). I can't imagine what it would be like to not have access to a toothbrush or comb for weeks.
[My kids can].

Click here for information on making humanitarian hygiene kits.

9 comments:

Janet said...

Thank you for this post. I really admire Caroline and your family and friends for doing all that you've done. I've sort of been in my own little world and haven't thought about what I could do to make a difference. Thank you for the thoughts and ideas.

Delia said...

You are awesome!

Ashley said...

I know, right! It is overwhelming to think about all of those orphans, and the scale of despair. I heard a reporter say that it was the worst catastrophe he had witnessed (topping Katrina, and the Asian tsunami, amongst others) because of the already dire condition that the country of Haiti had started out in. I mean..hospitals that collapsed. Schools with all the children dead. It's inconceivable.


I too, have been inspired by the outpouring of love and support by our country. 100 million in aid pledged by our country!..makes me proud to be an American.

It's also been comforting to know that organizations like Doctors Without Borders, http://doctorswithoutborders.org/index.cfmand Paul Farmer's Partners In Health, http://www.standwithhaiti.org/haitiare so honest and are already set up there to operate within the country. We pledged our money to those charities, as the thing that they are pleading for right now is monetary donations.

Thanks for sharing your thoughtfulness. Your kids are global citizens who obviously benefit from good parental examples of charitable giving and the belief in a humane standard of living for all of our brothers and sisters.
xoxo

The Good Life on Less! said...

We've been sick about it also ... just so hard to grasp. Makes you want to become a foster parent for all the kids there!

If you need any more info on the hygiene kits, dad and marene are the humanitarian directors for az right now.

Chelle said...

I have had some similar thoughts related to the crisis in Haiti and the people involved. As a mother, my sensitivities seem to be heightened and the plight of the people there feels more personal. I enjoyed reading your friend's blog--amazing insights to the people and the way some of them live there.

A long-time family friend is currently in Haiti volunteering his time and performing surgeries. I'm looking forward to a conversation with him when he returns.

Your family is a great example of reaching out and actively doing something to bring relief.

Erik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erik said...

I stumbled onto your amazing blog. I've been wondering what you've been up to for the past 20+ years. I'm so happy that you're happy. All my Best! -- E Hansen

Becky said...

karen,

leave it to you to lead out on community service. You are such a do-er. Thanks for that. You CANNOT beat the Humanitarian department of our church....you can't. The church is so organized and perfect. I love giving money to Humanitarian on the tithing slip cuz I KNOW it's gonna get there in an organized, efficient manner. Good job on the hygiene kits!!!

Natalie said...

you are amazing! i love your action!

hilarious sand dunes pics! way to be jackson!

love love love your famiy photo. and yes, the shoes are SO important marc! get with it bud!