Monday, July 12, 2010

Fasting for Haiti

It's been six months since the earthquake rocked Haiti, all but destroying Port Au Prince and leaving millions homeless. The media is taking this opportunity to remind us that things still aren't going well. From CNS:

The more fortunate moved back into homes that survived the quake.
Even so, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA said progress is slow and estimates that more than 1 million people remain homeless in 1,342 camps around Port-au-Prince and are vulnerable to tropical rainstorms and hurricanes.

...Safety, especially for women, is a growing concern. Women are become increasingly vulnerable to sexual assault. However, the Haitian National Police — numbering 7,000 nationwide — hardly has the manpower to keep order.

...The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ debris management plan says it would take a dump truck with a 20-cubic-yard bed 1,000 days to clear the debris, if it carried 1,000 loads a day. However, with just 300 trucks scattered throughout the earthquake zone, the Georgia engineers estimate it could take 20 years to clear the rubble at the current pace.
My family and I decided at the start of Easter this year that we would continue having small, simple meals on Fridays and donate the money we weren't spending on dinner to Haiti relief. I say this not to call attention to my virtue, but to encourage other families to do the same. It is important we remember those in need regularly, not just on "anniversaries".

Some good charities who are working in Haiti include: Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Catholic Relief Services and in particular Food for the Poor, which is currently running a campaign with a sponsor matching donations dollar for dollar, up to $50,000.


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