One year ago today, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the island of Haiti, killing over 100,000 people almost instantly.
It's a lot to take in, right? While remembering the earthquake in Haiti is certainly overwhelming, it shouldn't stop you from responding to the tragedy. Let's not go the way of much of our media, all but forgetting the island, only 365 days after Mother Nature disrupted any chance it had of a brighter future.
So, how do we keep Hope for Haiti alive? In my opinion, it's no longer about throwing money at the families and hoping things turn up rosy. Sure, money would help to create better conditions for the thousands of Haitians living in packed and unsanitary tents. Sure, money would get medication to those affected by widespread cholera, a disease that's killed over 2,000 more Haitians in recent months. And of course money would assist in the much-needed water purification effort across the country.
But what I think may be more important right now is simply taking the time to educate ourselves on the continuing crisis. Take five minutes to read up (or watch videos) on what's going down within Haiti's borders. There's political unrest, abject poverty, unsanitary medical conditions, and a number of other setbacks festering. Then maybe we can take focused action to directly help the island, or at least start an informed dialogue that'll keep our entire community up on Haiti's progress.
Because the truth is we all do care, and it's not our intention to ignore the Haitian people. We just need to know how to, literally, put our money where our mouth is...and spread the word.
What are other ways to help Haiti one year after the quake? I'd love to hear your suggestions.