One year ago today, the island of Haiti was rocked by a 7.0M earthquake rocked the country of Haiti, the worst there in nearly 160 years. No one was prepared for it and the results were catastrophic. Homes there are built to withstand hurricanes, not earthquakes and many of them fell. 250,000 people lost their lives. Nearly 300,000 more were injured. The infrastructure of the country was so bad that getting aid to remote areas was difficult, to say the least. In short, a country that was already the poorest in the Western Hemisphere became even more so.
Immediately, aid started pouring in. As Americans, we did what we do. We had telethons. We gave money to the Red Cross. And that is all extremely important. Rescue workers went down. Former Presidents Bush and Clinton went. Anderson Cooper went. Madonna’s ex lived there for almost 6 months. A bunch of nobodies went down to help (myself included). A lot of good was done, no doubt about it.
However, a year later, the help is drying up. We live in a world where it’s the next big thing that we focus on. The US still has wars going on in two countries. The economy still hasn’t recovered. Health care. The iPhone on Verizon. There are a lot of things to divert our attention. But I will spend this day, as I do every day, remembering that tiny country in the Caribbean. Those are not just nameless faces I have seen on tv. Those are my friends. They are my family. These are people I still keep in touch with. And several of them still don’t have homes. The news may have moved on, but these people have not. Nor have I. That’s why I am proud to be a partner with places like Conduit Mission and Restore Haiti. For the last 6 years we have been supporting that country by making sure kids get to school, get fed, helping build homes, etc. And we’re not done yet. Conduit has the ambitious goal of building 40 houses in 2011. I will be personally heading down at least once this year. I would be honored if each of you who read this would help even a little. To the right of this blog is a paypal button to donate to Conduit (facebook friends, you’ll need to go to the actual blog of benholeton.wordpress.com). Any donations are tax deductible and go directly towards the work at hand. Thanks so much, and God bless!