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Helping in the Haitian Relief Efforts

January 16, 2010
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As I sat and watched the news this week that came from Haiti, at first all I could do was cry and remember. I remembered what is was to lose every thing. I remember what it is like to lose everything or almost  everything you physically owned ( home  and everything in it) and to know even though your family is safe there was loss of life just feet from where you were. I also know what it  is like when a hurricane damages your home so bad that it takes months to recover. First I was over come with emotion..Those emotions turned into a desire to help. I have lived through homelessness, a hurricane, and a fire.

I gave immediately at first to the Red Cross. Why the Red Cross? When I was going through the fire literally literally they were there within minutes. When it comes to emergency responses they are well trained and get the job done. They work with other agencies and see that needs are met. Six years ago my daughter and I lived in Hamilton and lived through the experience of  being rescued by fire fighters in the dead of the night and then watched as the 30 unit apartment complex next door burned . A young woman died just 5 feet from where my young daughter slept and the other side of the wall. We got out. She did not. I have always been thankful we did. It was in the immediate hours after our little disaster I saw how fast and efficiently the Red Cross can work. Within hours we were being taken to a hotel where we stayed for the first 72 hours after the fire. Clothing came. Food came. We were taken care of. They helped us rebuild quite quickly.We were able to go back in. Our neighbors could not. Some on the lower floors were allowed in to get some things out. The 30 unit complex left families homeless and it was the Red Cross who came to the rescue. For us we went in and cleaned up the broken windows, threw out many smoke filled things, covered windows and had to move weeks later to a safer place.

I saw the work the done in conjunction with other agencies when living in Toronto and volunteering with the Salvation Army’s emergency response team. When 900 people were displaced due to an explosion and fire the 2 agencies  worked together to see that the immediate needs of the people where met. When it was known that they would not be able to return to their homes for months. These agencies worked with others to make sure each person had shelter.

If you are Canadian and can give please do give. The Canadian government is matching our giving up to 50 million dollars.

There are many agencies you can give to, and many ways to give.

Here is a list of some:

To donate just $5 you can text:

Wireless companies are providing a way to donate $5 by texting.  

• “Yele” to 501501 to donate to Wyclef Jean’s Yéle Foundation;

• “Haiti” to 85944 to donate to Rescue Union Mission and MedCorp International;

• “Haiti” to 25383 to donate to the International Rescue Committee;

• “Haiti” to 90999 to donate to the Red Cross in the U.S.;

• “Haiti” to 45678 to donate to the Salvation Army in Canada (Canada only).

Now here is a list of charities with WELL known ties and established ties in Haiti. Consider them please:

The Red Cross ( this agency already has a team of 50 of its best emergency response personnel on the ground and they are working tirelessly with other agencies to get needs met)

The Salvation Army already had and has personel on the ground in Haiti and a team of Canadian volunteers are enroute today to help distribute aid.

Doctors Without Borders/ Medicins Sans Frontieres is another agency on the ground. Many of their doctors and nurses who were in Haiti are missing. They are in need of medical supplies.

World Vision is another agency that had been working in Haiti. I have been following them on Twitter. I am a World Vision sponsor. So this one is near and dear to me. We will be giving more to them in the weeks ahead.

The Humanitarian Coalition. Oxfam, Care, and Save the Children have teamed together to offer assistance.

This is just a small list of agencies who are on the ground already. They are working to get help to the 3 million Haitians effected.

Now the blogging community is also giving in there own way and Money Saving Mom has complied a list of bloggers who have posts about how to help and what they are doing. Some bloggers are saying leave a comment and I will give. So if you can do check out some of them.

Well I am already giving and my daughter and I will be giving more in the months ahead as the need will be there for a very long time.What are you  doing?

Remember if you can not give , you can still do something: You can pray. So what are you doing? What have you done?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2010 6:18 pm

    Thanks for your post and stopping by to link up! Blessings!

  2. January 16, 2010 9:58 pm

    Thank you so much for linking up! 😀 Blessings!

  3. Lisa permalink
    January 23, 2010 2:56 am

    Hi Hollie,

    Yes the Red Cross is amazing! That is where my initial donation went. Did that building actually burn down?


  4. Hollie permalink*
    January 23, 2010 2:37 pm

    Yes Lisa no one who lived in the apartment building could go back. 30 units (30 families were instantly homeless). My apartment was 5 feet from the burned out units. I was able to go back. I went back to broken windows, and smoke everywhere and because of the damage right beside me we were not able to stay because we had cinder and the smell to contend with. So basically about 50 families in Hamilton were effected and the Red Cross worked hard to meet the needs.

  5. Lisa permalink
    January 23, 2010 2:45 pm

    I remember all that. I remember going back in with you and you showing me all the damage. What I didn’t remember was the “30 unit apartment complex burned to the ground”. You can’t go back in to a building that has burned to the ground. 🙂 You exaggerated there.

    What an awful experience. I’m sorry you had to have personal experience with it, but how awesome is the Red Cross!

  6. Hollie permalink*
    January 23, 2010 9:44 pm

    Lisa when I think of a burned out inhabitable building for me that is burnt to the ground. But I edited to so not to give a wrong impression. The 30 units were not rebuilt or reused until a major repair and renovation was done to the building 2 years later. People did not live in the building again for several years after the fire. Do you remember the black smoke on Rachel’s window and wall? the broken windows? the smell of smoke everywhere? taping garbage bags over the windows to keep the cinders from blowing in? For me it was hard, for the 29 families it was even worse, and for one family it was deadly. The Red Cross was first on scene to offer help and to be there for each of us that day no matter the need. For me sometimes I still smell smoke in my sleep. I can also remember how the flames were jumping out the window that night. It was the first thing I saw when awaken by the firefighter.

    I saw that response repeated in Toronto when an explosion closed down a multi story apartment building for months. I was part of the Salvation Army’s team of volunteers who feed the displaced at the school were they lived for days. I saw how the organizations worked together.

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