UPDATE: Another aftershock 6.1 hit Haiti today. Amazingly, rescue efforts are continuing and people are still being pulled out of the rubble alive! Please read and take action!
It’s been just over a week since the 7.0 earthquake rocked the poor island nation of Haiti to its core. As I write, family, friends and strangers carry lifeless bodies to cemeteries where other piles of flesh and bones pile up. There is simply not enough room to bury the dead. On the streets, countless victims bear open wounds. Apocalyptic images and sounds plaster our TV sets and computer screens — the desperate need for food, water, shelter and proper medical care remain.
It’s numbing and amazing to me that some reports out of Haiti’s ground zero are stories of hope. I saw an ABC news report about how Haitian communities are banding together to help each other, when they have nothing of their own. One by one, victims are removing blocks of rubble and digging out their loved ones and even strangers from crumbled buildings. Others are using twine and cardboard as makeshift splints to bandage those with broken limbs.
Search and rescue efforts continue… and some communities have nothing to hold onto but their will and songs of hope that are overpowered by the cries of desperation.
I look around my community here in the San Francisco Bay Area and juxtapose the images — that have been plaguing my mind since the horrific quake — with the people, thousands of miles away that are moved to act. As the body count continues to rise in Haiti — it’s comforting to know that people at the local nonprofit, MedShare.org, are counting surplus supplies that are being packaged and drop-shipped to Haiti.
It is not too late to take action everybody, WE MUST ALL DO SOMETHING NOW to help the people in Haiti. Following the quake, the team at Go Inspire Go immediately sent emails to our community, urging everyone in our global nexus to act — in whatever way they could — by donating money or time to help the people in Haiti who have no shelter, no food, water and proper medical care. I asked everyone to email/comment about how they’re helping the people in Haiti on our GoInspireGo Blog and our Huffington Post Blog. The hope — to inspire people by your actions — to act.
Some of you responded and donated right away to the Red Cross by texting Haiti to 90999 on your cell phones, while others shared links and donated to other reputable companies who will match our donation dollar for dollar.
Several people emailed and commented telling us about MedShare.Org, a nonprofit out of Decatur, Georgia and San Leandro, California. For 11 years, MedShare has been collecting sorting and shipping surplus medical supplies from hospitals (supplies that would’ve otherwise ended up in the garbage) to more than 80 countries. MedShare already had a shipment en route to a hospital in Haiti before the earthquake, however, a team of thousands work feverishly, to send over more than half a million dollars worth of medical supplies to Haiti since last Tuesday’s disaster.
After receiving your feedback, The Go Inspire Go team was inspired to take action. We visited the folks at MedShare in San Leandro and created this video to inspire you to volunteer or donate your time to this amazing group and/or to do whatever you can to HELP HAITI NOW. Please watch, share and DO SOMETHING.
Meanwhile, I’m urging everyone in our multi-media community to pick up your cameras and document how other people in their communities are reaching out — even from thousands of miles away. If you’d like to send over your video or ideas on how to help Haiti, please email [email protected].
Please check out these stories captured by Haitian film students at Ciné Institute. These reports, uploaded to the film school’s Vimeo Channel, highlight the utter devastation from the town of Jacmel just off of Haiti’s southern coast. These reports show the dire conditions from a park-turned-refugee camp. As you’re watching, please ask yourself “WHAT CAN I DO?” (Warning: Some images in these videos are disturbing):
This report was filed by Ciné Institute student, Lesly Decembre:
This report was filed this Monday by Ciné Institute student, Keziah Jean:
SPECIAL THANKS: GO Inspire GO volunteers, Ashley Lopez and Luis Pena-Philippides (production), Jessica Chang (co-writing MedShare story), Lorelle Graffeo (Help Haiti Logo and web design), Kevin Lee (programming).