Sunday, January 17, 2010

how else can i help haiti?

I'm pretty sure that by this time most everybody who has access to some form of media knows what happened in Haiti recently. Or rather, what happened to Haiti. The devastation is so severe, I can't ignore the urge to do something.

And I don't want to just contribute prayers.

The first impediment is that I'm miles away. Also, I'm well aware that I'm not a doctor, not in the military, not in any government or humanitarian organization, and I have no training or background whatsoever, so I can't be sent out there. I'm struggling with my own expenses, so I don't have much to give. I don't have a credit card or bank account of any sort, so I don't even know how to give.

I'm therefore really glad about how citizens have created easy ways to contribute to Haiti relief efforts, that average janes like me can be a part of this somehow.

There is first of all that convenient way to send donations to Red Cross via text. We are told that every little centavo helps, so I'm not too ashamed to give a small bit at a time. I may be able to give more after the next payday - I'm sure it'll still be needed then - but for now, I give what I can.

Quite a number of bloggers have devised a way to raise funds through their blogs. I'm not sure how that works, but they tie-in with some organization, and for every comment received, x number of dollars goes to that charity. I was quite skeptical about this, but then again I had nothing to lose by participating. Most of them have links to other blogs doing the same thing, so I clicked around and left my comments.

Other bloggers have chosen to host contests on their sites, and the giveaway is a cash donation to Haiti relief ops in your name. Awesome, huh?

Other citizen bloggers and online shops have opted to donate a portion of their income for this specific time. Others have decided to give the income they receive from the ads, so merely visiting their pages and /or clicking the ads helps. Yeah, I did some of that too.

I'm also quite impressed at how one of the most popular Facebook games, Farmville, has used its easy access to FB users as a way to raise support. With a few clicks and a PayPal account (so that ultimately means real money), you can effortlessly give a donation while acquiring a cute, new item for your virtual farm. I actually have neither a Farmville farm nor a PayPal account, but the Hubby has both. Now a lovely fountain stands in the middle of his virtual hacienda as a receipt for our humble donation.

Of course I would love to do something more direct, more concrete. Maybe I should volunteer for an organization? I'm still clicking around to see in what other little ways I can help.