Don’t Give Up on Haiti


These are trying times – wars overseas and terrorist threats at home, a miserable economy, a health care system in crisis and Washington politicians behaving with more pettiness and self-interest than squabbling two year olds – well, it’s just plain disheartening.

Haiti – Whose Problem Is It?

This week a patient of mine lumped Haiti’s problems in along with all those others I just mentioned but I begged to differ. Haiti is neither a governmental nor political problem – it is a humanitarian one. It is not our governments’ problem to solve, it is our own as individuals. We can save Haiti if we don’t give up on her.

I wrote in my last post right after the Haiti earthquake about how important it was to send money immediately. I am writing now to say we must keep sending money as Haiti moves through the years of recovery to come. Since this is a humanitarian effort it is up to humans, not governments, to provide the relief. If we were struck by a disaster we would hope others would do the same for us.

The U.S. government, the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Food Program or other large global organizations – none of them – not even all of them combined have the money to rebuild Haiti. They may have the personnel and equipment and expertise, but they do not have the money. We individual humans must contribute that.

Being Human

I’ve been reflecting on what my patient said about Haiti being just another disaster on the world stage that will tax our resources and strain our economy more, but I can’t think about it that way. To me it’s more personal than that. There but for the grace of God go I.

I have decided I am going to give $10 every month to the Red Cross specifically for Haiti for as long as it takes. It’s a very small sum of money I know. But if humans all over the world each give just a little, it will become a lot. It is humanity’s job to help Haiti rebuild and become a model for other humanitarian projects in the future.

If one million people contribute the same small amount I do – that’s 120 million dollars a year, if two million contribute that is 240 million year – if 100 million people contribute – well, you get the idea. It won’t affect your taxes, your services or the national deficit because it’s coming directly from you – not your government.

Humanitarian aid is humans helping other humans – it’s not a governmental or political issue. In fact, the trick is keeping governments from interfering. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money, but if a lot of humans give a little then a lot can get done.

I’m tired of the bickering and fighting in Washington, I’m frustrated with the economy, I’m weary of wars, I’m angry at terrorists and I’m fed up with the profiteering and turf wars that are keeping health care reform stalled.

Some things should be out of bounds where partisan politics are concerned and humanitarian aid is one of them. I still believe in humanity so I’m not giving up on Haiti anytime soon. I hope you won’t either.

Photo credit: The Big Picture at

This information is offered for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat. For that please seek direct care from a health professional.

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