18 January 2010

Doing what we can

For the last few days, I've been debating whether or not I should write this post. I don't feel as though I have any particular expertise or brilliant advice to offer that others don't have, or that you haven't already heard. But, on this day when I sit at home and not at work, in order to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and all of his work to give voice to the unheard, I've been thinking about what I am doing that does just that, honors his work and his life.

Here we are, almost one week since the force of nature that turned the lives of all those in Haiti, and beyond, upside down. And what am I doing? What are we all doing? It's so hard to sit here in my comfortable house and not just hop on a plane down to Haiti to help. But how could I help in Haiti? I'm not a doctor or nurse, I'm not a search and rescue person, I'm not an aid worker. In all honesty, I'd probably be a bumbling idiot and just break out into tears every thirty seconds. We can't all go to Haiti to help, as hard as that might feel.

So, what can we do from here, from our comfortable houses? Here are a few (just a few, really) suggestions...

:: Craft Hope. I have donated a few items, and there are many many more that have been donated by the crafting community. I'm overwhelmed that , as I'm writing this, over four hundred items have been sold. All proceeds from these sales will be donated to Doctors Without Borders (and HUGE props to Sarah, and those working with her, for working tirelessly to coordinate this effort). If you want to donate, go here.

:: A few shops that are donating funds from sales to Haiti relief efforts (I'm sure there are many more, feel free to leave those in the comments)...
my favourite dress
Paper Menagerie

:: Partners in Health. There are many organizations on the ground in Haiti, many worthy organizations where you can contribute money that will be well spent. This is where we chose to donate. I first learned of PIH a few years ago when I read Paul Farmer's book, Pathologies of Power, and have been pretty much obsessed with him and his work ever since, including Partners in Health. I hold great value in the fact that PIH has had a longstanding relationship with the Haitian people and are already involved in the Haitian culture and this is primarily why I chose them.

:: Read this post, by Melissa, about contacting your representative about allowing Haitian children who were already in the process of being adopted to come to the US while their soon-to-be families complete the paperwork. And while you're at it, ask your representatives to support efforts to grant Temporary Protective Status to undocumented Haitians already living in the US-- we cannot possibly deport people back to Haiti right now.

There you have it, just a few things to keep you busy today, and honor MLK and his dream of ending oppression and poverty. A dream we must continue to work towards.


  1. I know how you feel. I did hear on NPR this morning that they are allowing Haitians to stay and work here for 18 months.

  2. Thanks for including Paul Farmer's work. He has been a huge force for good in Haiti for many years (and I got an email from him in 2002- I almost passed out I was so excited!), and has the groundwork in place to put money to good use. (sorry for the soapbox)