January 24, 2010

Two More Ways to Help With Haiti Relief

"You must be the change you want to see in the world."~Mahatma Gandhi.

As the relief work continues, many of us in Miami have been thinking of ways to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti. We also worry about giving money to charities because we fear the aid will not get to the people.

I have always given to Food for the Poor and other agencies that were in Haiti before the earthquake. Yes, I know, they have their own agenda and I disagree with some of their policies, but according to the Better Business Bureau they have a proven track record of getting assistance to the poor with 97% of their donations going to their programs.

They are also part of the BBB's Charity Seal Program.--where you can check out other charities before you give. Because it's all a matter of trust, isn't it.

So, here is one more way that I am suggesting that you can help Haiti. It comes from a friend and colleague at Miami Dade College, Lisa Shaw:

Dear Geoffrey,

The ministry program I attend at St. Thomas University in Miami founded and operates a sustainable economic community Port au Paix. in the northwest of Haiti, giving the poorest province in the hemisphere's poorest nation their first experience with economic opportunity.  They have formed a coffee growers cooperative and a women' artisan cooperative (they make and hand decorate crosses) and this  university, under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Miami,  sends students and faculty year round to  assist them from planning to implementing to constructing.

Because Port au Prince is destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing to this northwest province, which cannot handle the influx of people without help: no food, no water.  Right now the program is looking forward to LONG-TERM sustainability.  What happens 10 months from now after all the needed billion$ have come into Port au Prince?

They are stepping up the drive to sell the coffee, which I tried last night and which I promise you is delicious!  All proceeds go to the Haitian community absorbing the new refugees.  I am sending links to both the coffee web site and the St. Thomas program.  Please consider this as a way to contribution and feel free to ask me questions.

Lisa Shaw
The Illumination Blog


What I like about this program is not not only that they were there before the earthquake, but that they were promoting "LONG-TERM sustainability" and the solutions to the problems were being generated by the people in Haiti--a pattern that I hope will be repeated in our economies, arts, and cultures.

I'll be making a contribution to Cafe Cocano because it represents some of the things in which I believe: the ability of Caribbean peoples to overcome any situation and that we are responsible for creating the changes we want to see. Unless we (InI) do it for ourselves, nothing will happen.


Because I also believe in the power of the Word and that with giving, we can also speak/write/do great good, I'm recommending a site--thanks Randy!-- VWA{Poems for Haiti):

VWA: Poems For Haiti was created by Caper Literary Journal as a way to inspire people to think about the tragedy in Haiti. We want people — readers and writers alike — to generate hope through a time that is very dark. We have luxuries many do not, and though some of us cannot help in major ways, sharing your work in the name of their pain and strength is something we can do. VWA, the kreyĆ²l word for voice, aims to turn the pain and inspiration into literary works.


No comments: