January 19, 2010

Text a few dollars to support Haiti

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Use the power of the social Web to make an impact

Sloane BerrentThe earthquake that shook Haiti last week demolished and devastated the entire nation. Looking at pictures online, reading testimonials of survivors and following the developments in the rescue and emergency response teams, I felt, like many of you, overwhelming sadness. Mere weeks after completing my Kiva Fellowship last summer, the Philippines were hit with Typhoon Ondoy, another natural disaster resulting in true devastation.

I was looking back on pictures from the Philippines and wanted to share the slideshow above from when I went to visit Bernardita Dayo, a Kiva borrower that I had actually funded before I became a Fellow. Looking at those pictures, their homes located so close to the water, I’m reminded that for every picture we see of Haiti NOW, just last week there were other pictures showing THEN.

The pictures above, that village, doesn’t exist in the same way after the Typhoon, now it is just a memory as the Filipino people work to rebuild their villages and homes so too now does Haiti have a long and turbulent road ahead of them. The “then” in their pictures were vibrant lives and villages with personality, history and culture whose path has now forever been changed.

When you give to help Haiti, and you should, $5-$10 is little to most of us but means the world to them, I’d like to ask you to remember that you’re giving not just to help the Haitian people out of their dire current situation, but investing in their future and the rebuilding of the parts of their society and community that helped define them.

Here are a few quick and easy ways from WhatGives!:

• Text HAITI to 90999. $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill and given to the American Red Cross.

• Text YELE to 501501. $5 will be charged to your cell phone bill and given to Yele Haiti. (see note at end of post about Yele Haiti)

• Text CERF to 90999. $5 will be charged to your cell phone bill and given to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund.

• Text HAITI to 45678. $5 will be charged to your cell phone bill and given to The Salvation Army.

• Text QUAKE to 20222. $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill and given to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

• Text SAVE to 20222 (US Only). $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill and given to Save the Children.

Other ways to make a difference

In addition to the above, I’ve also made a donation to Architecture for Humanity and I’d like to ask you to join me. Cameron Sinclair wrote a powerful article in the HuffPost about the rebuilding of Haiti:

When we are rebuilding, do not let the media set the time line and expectations for reconstruction. I remember vividly well known news personalities standing on the rubble of homes in the lower ninth proclaiming that ‘this time next year we will see families back home.’ Some well meaning NGOs, who usually have little building experience, are even worse — ‘we’ll have 25,000 Haitians back home if you donate today.’ In reality, here is what it really looks like;

• Pre-Planning Assessments and Damage Analysis (underway, will run for a year)
• Establish Community Resource Center and Reconstruction Studio (Week 6 to Month 3)
• Sorting Out Land Tenure and Building Ownership (Month 6 to Year 5)
• Transitional Shelters, Health Clinics and Community Structures (Month 6 to Year 2)
• Schools, Hospitals and Civic Structures (Month 9 to Year 3)
• Permanent Housing (Year 1 to Year 5)

Thank you to WhatGives! for creating the widget below that makes it easy for you to make a donation in just a few clicks.

The social web has incredible power to impact change on the world and when disaster strikes, we must dig into our pockets, past where we already give and help those in need. Because we’d want the world to act the same if something horrific were to happen in our backyard. A lesson I’ve learned all too well from the amazing people here in New Orleans.

Please text or make a donation to help the rebuilding of Haiti today.

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Be A Part of TweetsgivingSloane Berrent is a cause-based marketing consultant who works with nonprofits and social cause organizations. See her business profile, contact Sloane or leave a comment.

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