Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Haiti-One Year Later

Tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. One year since hundreds of thousands of Haitians lost their homes, their loved ones and their livelihoods. One year since Haiti, an already ravaged country, crumbled.

A lot has happened in one year. I have been volunteering and now working for the Red Cross for over a year now. And I was forced into the fire of the happenings of Haiti right here in Utah. I was overwhelmed with work to do but even more so overwhelmed by the amount of people who came to the office with money in all amounts and with time to answer phones, take messages, and offer support.

The people from Utah are an extremely generous bunch; raising over $2 million for the American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti. Donors came from large corporations, from small businesses, from elementary and high schools across the state and from ordinary citizens just trying to offer whatever help they could.

A lot has happened in one year. With the money that people across the United States donated (almost $475 million) the Red Cross has been able to provide food to over 1 million people with the help of the UN World Food Programme ; clean drinkable water to hundreds of thousands of people every day since the earthquake; after the Cholera outbreak, vaccinations for nearly 1 million people, and much more!

A lot still needs to happen. The American Red Cross is committed to helping the people of Haiti until every last donated dollar is spent. Long term recovery plans have been made over the next several years with permanent housing for Haitians a top priority.

It is absolutely incredible to me how vast the American Red Cross is. The work that has been done and is being done can and will move mountains but it will take some time, and patience is key to the recovery process. I often wish I could go over to Haiti and help pick up the pieces, lend my able body to the relief efforts and give hope to the country. But for now I will marvel at the work that the Red Cross is doing and patiently wait and hope that the work will continue and things will change for Haiti.

To read the One Year Report from the American Red Cross click here.

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