Wednesday, January 20, 2010

LAWG says: Tell your friends to lend a helping hand to Haiti

Tell your friends to lend a helping hand to Haiti. This excellent message is from the Latin America Working Group (LAWG).

LAWG's Lisa Haugard writes:

"Many walk the streets, some barefoot, balancing on their heads bags containing what belongings they could grab before they fled and clutching plastic containers for water," says Oxfam's Catherine Gluck from Port au Prince, Haiti. "Large numbers are also wearing masks to stop inhaling the thick grey smoke that lingered long after the quake. The masks also offered some protection from the thick stench of dead bodies that lined the streets in the immediate aftermath of the quake and are still turning up wrapped in sheets or pieces of clothing." (Oxfam:

Please share this message, with a list of organizations supporting relief efforts, to your friends and family!

I went searching for words like these that would convey the scope of the damage. But sometimes only photos can convey the scope of the horror, like this photo essay in the Boston Globe -

And then there are the mind-numbing numbers:
50,000 to 200,000 dead
300,000 living homeless in the streets of Port au Prince

Like us, we know you are asking, What can I do to help? We're glad the Obama Administration has taken first steps, such as immediately pledging $100 million in emergency relief and extending Temporary Protective Status for Haitians in the United States, halting deportations for 18 months.

In the weeks to come, we will ask you to urge the White House and Congress to provide generous, well-directed emergency and long-term reconstruction aid that will truly help Haitians rebuild their lives. It will be important to ensure aid is provided in an empowering way. This call for Haiti relief to be grounded in transparency, human rights principles and respect for the dignity of Haitian people by Partners in Health/ Zanmi Lasante and other groups is a good place to start -

But right now, the most important action is to give, and to encourage your friends and family to give. (But in this case, not to LAWG: we do not provide direct relief!) Below is a list of partners in the LAWG coalition who are acceptiong donations for Haiti relief efforts -

Also, please forward this message and direct your friends and family to the list below, or other good effective relief groups, and encourage them to give. In my neighborhood in Silver Spring, Maryland, there are many people with families in Haiti. My heart goes out to them and to all those in affected by this devastating disaster.

Best, Lisa Haugaard

Here are some of our partners who participate in the LAWG coalition who are providing relief. Please donate to them or to any other effective organization of your choice supporting relief efforts in Haiti.

American Jewish World Service
Catholic Relief Services
Church World Service
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America/Action by Churches Together
Jesuit Refugee Service USA
Lutheran World Relief
Mennonite Central Committee
Oxfam America
Quixote Center
United Methodist Church
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee/UUA
United Church of Christ

In addition, these are two effective organizations providing emergency medical relief: Partners in Health
Doctors Without Borders

Latin America Working Group
424 C Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 546-7010

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