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Why Haiti?

July 10, 2010

I know that most people who will read this are warm, open-minded, caring people.

But I also am well-aware that there will be the few who ask: Why Haiti? What about America? There’s that awful Gulf situation. Why don’t you go help there?

It’s a fair question, I suppose. Although, interestingly, I never hear it from people who are currently helping Americans. It’s never the women working at the homeless shelter who ask that.

But regardless, this is my answer. I do help America. I donate time and money and food and blood. I would go to Louisiana in a heartbeat to save pelicans, but that’s not really an option for me. You need special training. And if I went as a volunteer, they wouldn’t pay out-of-work fishermen to do it. Instead, for now, I am supporting the people and wildlife of that area with donations.

I can’t say for sure why I can’t get Haiti out of mind. But maybe it’s these numbers. In the aftermath of the earthquake, approximately 230,000 people were killed. That’s close to the population of the entire city of Pittsburgh.

1,836 people died as a result of Hurrican Katrina.
2,976 people died in the September 11th attacks (excluding hijackers).

And let’s face it, life in Haiti wasn’t so great before the earthquake. It’s one of the poorest countries in the world.

There are a lot of poor countries. There are a lot of people suffering in the world.

I accept that I can’t help everyone. But I can spend a week helping in Haiti.

So I will be.

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