Haiti

Our family got word late last night that my cousin John, wife Merline, and two small kids are OK.  John is a co-director of Haiti Partners / Beyond Borders program in Port au Prince.  It's a great organizaton which has been in Haiti for more than 20 years.  Whether you give through Beyond Borders, American Red Cross, or some other charitable organization...    give until it hurts.

It's a huge nightmare down there.      embarassed

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Very humbling situation

As a medical professional myself, I look at the video footage of the carnage... I look at photos of injuries and find myself asking -- HOW do so many people get the help they need?

I was reading in one article, one foreign aid worker told a reporter, "Money is worth nothing right now, water is the currency," 

The absence of such basic human needs astounds and humbles me.

Also, beware of scam artists

This same thing happened after the 2004 tsunami in Sumatra.

Forbes has a good article on how to avoid aid scams, including online ones.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/13/haiti-earthquake-charities-personal-fin...

Statement of the U.S. Department of State

Today the U.S. Department of State released the following statement:

January 14, 2010

Children Affected by Natural Disasters and Conflict

The Department of State receives inquiries from American citizens concerned about the plight of children in areas of conflict and in countries afflicted by natural disasters such as the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, hurricanes, and tsunamis. Our office shares this concern for children in devastated areas and we understand that some Americans want to respond by offering to open their homes and adopt these children in need.

It can be extremely difficult in such circumstances to determine whether children who appear to be orphans truly are eligible for adoption. Children may be temporarily separated from their parents or other family members during a natural disaster or conflict, and their parents may be looking for them. It is not uncommon in an emergency or unsettled situation for parents to send their children out of the area, or for families to become separated during an evacuation. Even when it can be demonstrated that children have indeed lost their parents or have been abandoned, they are often taken in by other relatives in the extended family.

During times of crisis, it can also be exceptionally difficult to fulfill the legal requirements for adoption of both the U.S. and the child's country of origin. This is especially true when civil authority breaks down or temporarily ceases to function. It can also be difficult to gather documents necessary to fulfill the legal requirements of U.S. immigration law. There are many ways in which U.S. citizens can help the children in areas of natural disaster or conflict. For example, individuals who wish to assist can make a financial contribution to a reputable relief or humanitarian organization working in that country.

Good catch, Niels!

No doubt, we can expect a bunch of doo-gooder PAPs to make a mad rush for "saving the children", of course ignoring the children here who have needed some good done in their lives since birth -- some good that APs with something to prove can never provide outside of their own self-aggrandization or showing off to planet earth what small-scale messiahs they are.

But whatever...that's a different soapbox for a different thread.

Glad PPL is around. Somone needs to monitor the almost-inevitable abuses that are going to come of this horrific earthquake tragedy. Or....not.

I could be wrong, but I didn't see people so graciously "opening up their own homes" in droves after the 2004 Sumatra tsunami or to kids from Katrina, unless it was long-established Black denominations (exclusive of these neo-charismatic opportunists like Judge Cheryl Allen), which have been taking in f'ed-over children and neglected poor nonwhite families since the slavery era.

Wrong color, wrong age, not suitable as devices for showing off what an altruistic caring person you are changing the world one child at a time, unless of course you're John McCain or Josephine Baker.

So I guess we'll just have to see.

YouTube Updates

John has posted several video updates on YouTube regarding the earthquake in Port au Prince. Click on the link below, then click on the Haiti updates on the right side of the page.

http://www.youtube.com/user/englejohnny

Pound Pup Legacy