Though many of you are probably already aware of this crisis, I wanted
to send a note to the group about the current situation in Haiti.
Because they have understandably focused much of their attention on
domestic consequences of the recent string of hurricanes, the American
media have under-emphasized a rather heartbreaking fact: that all four
of these recent storms (Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike) passed through the
poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti. See yesterday's /New
York Times/ for an update on the grim situation (http://tinyurl.com/5mxklt).
I know most of us by definition have very little money to spare, but the
current need in Haiti is so intense that the familiar "every little bit
helps" is especially true at present. Please take some time to
prayerfully consider how you might help. Don't be intimidated by the
default options for donation amount on these Web site; they should all
allow you to specify another amount:
Episocpal Relief and Development, https://www.er-d.org/OnlineDonateForm/
--The "Hurricane Relief" fund sounds most appropriate; it's for
non-domestic hurricane relief, and I can't imagine there's anywhere with
greater need right now.
United Nations Food Programme, http://www.wfp.org/english/
--I couldn't find a Haiti-specific donation link anywhere, but this is
one of the main organizations distributing food in Haiti, so it seems
likely that selecting "Where most needed" on the donation form will get
your help there (and if not, then God knows the actual recipients need
Doctors Without Borders, http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
--DWB has at least one team on the ground in Haiti right now as well.
Same deal as the UN link above in terms of where your money would go.
We might also want to talk soon about how the St. Francis House
community as a whole might respond to this crisis or to the overall
situation in Haiti. If we can find the money, we could sponsor a child
through the Diocese of Milwaukee's Haiti Project for $200 per year
(http://www.haitiproject.org/donate.html). The coordinator of the
project is a UW-Madison student and I'm sure would be happy to come
speak to us; she's a friend of mine from Trinity, Wauwatosa and has been
to Haiti several times.
Thanks for your time, everyone, and for your thoughts and prayers.
Graduate research assistant
Computational Nuclear Engineering Research Group
434 Engineering Research Building
1500 Engineering Drive Madison, WI 53706
"Contraria sunt complementa" --Niels Bohr
Kyle I think that's a great idea; I had no idea the damage in Haiti was so bad! Sponsoring a child sounds great! Maybe we could do some kind of fund-raiser to help raise money for the cost, or I don't know if we have any extra funds from football parking? We could have a lot of fun doing some kind of fundraising together as a group, and then do something helpful with the money we make. Sounds awesome, what does everyone else think?
On the subject, my friend and I are making care packages for the troops overseas with the help of some girls in Pi Phi, and if you guys wanted to contribute that would be awesome as well. Cost is minimal to unnecessary. Basically, we are simply collecting cards (hand written on a regular piece of paper is more than enough, no need to go out and buy anything) and supplies. We did this last year and actually got responses from the troops saying how much they appreciate it. Activity has died down over in Iraq and troops now have increasing amounts of waiting around time, so the following items are what they said they are in most need/want of:
5 hour energy drinks, Zebra brand ink pens (telescopic), Fusion razors and replacement blades, energy drink mixes for water, car air fresheners, white socks, boxer briefs (sizes 32, 34, 36), gum, cinnamon pop tarts. If you can spare any of these, let me know and I can come pick them up from you.