Wednesday, January 13, 2010
GUEST BLOGGER: Amanda Kane, LSW
Yesterday’s earthquake that overwhelmed Haiti is horrifying for many reasons. Such staggering loss of life and infrastructure devastation is catastrophic beyond accurate description. Haiti, a country of about nine million people, lies in the Caribbean, about 700 miles from Miami, Florida. Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the western hemisphere. According to the CIA, approximately 80% of Haiti’s population lives in poverty.
Such disasters remind me of the connection Americans feel to people of other nationalities in times of need. Haiti has long been a country struggling with economic and political turmoil, but now its needs become even more acute as estimates of the death toll rise over 100,000. The American government frequently provides aid to countries after natural disasters. We are fortunate to live in a country with the means as well as the intention to help others in crisis. It is also important for us to remember our individual responsibilities to people in distress. Many times we want to help but do not know what steps to take. Check out a legitimate charity organization such as the American Red Cross to donate your time, blood, or money.
photograph: aerial view of Haiti from CIA's website