A powerful outpouring of concern for the Haitian people has been expressed throughout the week via all media. It has been the lone topic that our membership has been writing to me about for the past several days. The compassion expressed is so revealing. Keep in mind the mission statement for our organization:
Yes We Can! Long Island is an issue-driven, progressive, nonpartisan, advocacy organization founded upon the promise of hope and change as expressed by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign which transcends political affiliation.
What single event could provoke a more generous response from Long Islanders than the devastation wreaked upon these people by an act of nature? As fellow islanders we, too, must face the reality of a disastrous storm devastating our communities.
Although many of us may find ourselves at a time of personal financial difficulty, we should all respond by giving to whatever extent we can. There are countless ways to make a donation. (noto bene: It is always prudent to inquire from a charitable organization how much of a donation goes to administrative expenses and how much reaches the purpose for which the donation is intended).
Dan writes, I have reached out to my church community and am willing to help communicate and organize an effort and plan to reach out to the local sports and media companies, but I see this as an opportunity for YMC!LI to help raise the consciousness of Long Islanders by leading a call to provide loving help to the orphans, widows and widowers, the injured and lame – an entire nation struggling with a monumental tragedy.
Don shares his feelings, Haiti! As it is said “Do not ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.” The crisis in Haiti is so horrendous that we must realize these people are our neighbors and we must send as much humanitarian aid as possible and do so immediately. The few short sighted isolationists that regard this as strictly a Haitian problem and not our problem will soon realize that this catastrophe will exacerbate their concerns for our immigration and will also bring many dreaded diseases that are associated with the aftermath of the earthquake. Remember, Haiti’s has at best a rudimentary or a practically non-existent sanitary system. These people urgently need food, clean water, medicine, and rescue workers. These problems will certainly and inevitably affect us all. Humanity, wake up! We are all on the same ship… its called Planet Earth– too small for the Pat Robertsons and the Rush Limbaughs of the world who look at any humanitarian aid as rewarding sinfulness and part of a political objective that favors people of color.
Many others have written to me just as passionately about this tragedy. Let’s each of us resolve to do what we can afford as we would expect others to do for us should we find ourselves, some day, in a similarly desperate situation.