The recorded population of my hometown in 2008 was 171,922. The current death toll in Haiti is estimated by PAHO at 200,000. I am not a stupid girl, but quite honestly I just don't know how to process that. Somehow widespread panic and overwhelming despair always leaves me paralyzed. I have an apprehension to send money to unknown organizations without really knowing what the money is going to. I am not proud of that, but it's true.
I am intentionally not allowing myself to troll for news because I don't want to know. I don't want to know because I feel helpless. My soft, simple heart can't stand to lie in bed at night and cry over a child I cannot help. Please don't judge me for being honest. I admire you if you're stronger than me and can watch hours of coverage and not feel like you need to charter the next plane and fly to the Caribbean. I am not that strong, but I know that I need to do something. Anything. Here is what I've been able to confirm.
Donate $10 to American Red Cross by texting the word 'Haiti' to 90999.
Southern California Sports Chalet locations are partnering with Soles4Souls and collecting gently worn shoes through January 31 for distribution in Haiti.
The US Relief Fund is offsetting administrative costs and 100% of every donation to Unicef will support UNICEF's relief efforts for children in Haiti.
Local Aeropostale stores are collecting gently worn jeans and will match the first 100,000 pairs received.
My company will match any cash donation I make up to an amount beyond my means. I encourage you to do your own research to seek other corporate opportunities for matching.
Nothing we do will ever be enough, but something is certainly better than nothing. If you can't donate, please pray. And kiss your family. If you're safe and warm tonight and no one in your home is suffering you are far luckier than 200,000 people in Haiti.