Thursday, January 14, 2010

How to help (and not help) quake victims in Haiti  


I'm sure most of you have heard about the enormous earthquake that struck Haiti two days ago, causing an estimated 50,000 deaths. I was horrified to hear about this, but I have faith that people will band together to dedicate time and money to aid those affected in Haiti. I've already seen efforts in the past two days, ranging from friends posting links to donation pages on Facebook to pop-ups on the corner of the TV screen on VH1 urging people to donate through a text message fund.

But televangelist Pat Robertson and ignoramus Rush Limbaugh were nice enough to give us comprehensive lessons on how not to help those struggling to put their lives back together in Haiti. Here's Keith Olbermann's fantastic response to their heartlessness:

Let's try looking at some better ways to help that don't involve accusing Haitians of making a pact with the devil or of being communists who brought poverty upon themselves.

Real Ways to Help:
  • The Red Cross announced that you can text "Haiti" to 90999 to send $10 to the Red Cross' quake relief fund (the $10 will be added to your next cell phone bill). Or you can donate to the Red Cross online.

  • You can also donate to UNICEF, NetHope, or World Vision International.

  • Use your blogs, Facebooks, Twitters, text messages, and so on to spread the word about Haiti's need for our help. Stay on top of the news to remain updated on the situation, since it is constantly changing. Today, for example, MSNBC reported that the chaos that has broken out since the quake is making it extremely difficult for relief workers to get aid to victims.

  • Also use social networking sites and word-of-mouth to publicly denounce the horrific responses by people such as Robertson and Limbaugh. Use Keith Olbermann's words if you need to, since he usually says it better than anyone ;)

I send my utmost support and compassion to those affected by the earthquake in Haiti, and I hope each day those in Haiti make more progress towards a recovery.

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