A week ago, I don't think you could have told me that I would do any of the things I have done in the past week. As many of you, I have been gripped by the images and video coming out of Haiti for the past week. I have watched and cried as they pulled the survivors from the rubble and have watched and cried at all the images of the dead. Like you, I wanted to help, but what can you do when you are so far away and unable to be there to help hand out a bottle of water or comfort a scared child? Of course you can go to the many donation sites and offer your monetary help, and I strongly encourage that and have done that myself. Often, however, you still feel a need to do something more.
I have a friend who is on the ground right now in Haiti. His name is Michael Andrew. (http://www.michaelthemaven.com/). I could write an entire blog about Michael, but if you visit his website, you can learn what a great person he is all by yourself. Michael has done amazing things since he has been in Haiti, but the most important thing he has been doing is searching for and finding orphanages. Once he finds the orphanages, he then finds out what needs they have (i.e., food, water, diapers, milk, etc.). The hard part, however, has been finding an aid agency willing to help Michael in distributing this aid to the people (in this case, children) who need it. One orphanage he visited had over 300+ orphans alone. They have had no contact and no supplies.
This has been where I came in. I have relentlessly been trying to find an agency that will allow Michael to partner with them to distribute this aid. It has been extremely frustrating trying to get big agencies to listen to me. After all, I am not a big corporation, or the military, or a news agency. I am just a regular, SAHM who works at home full time and was bold enough to step up and volunteer to help out my virtual friend (oh yeah, Michael and I have never met face to face). In any case, in the past week, I turned into something I never would have imagined. A beggar. I have sent out emails, and text messages, and phone messages, and Facebook messages and Twitter messages to many different agencies in an attempt to find help for these children.
As of the writing of this entry, I may have someone to finally accept Michael's outstretched hand. I received an email today from the Program Director of Stop Hunger Now which is a NC-based association partnered with Mission of Hope in Haiti. He has given us contact information for people in Haiti for Michael to hopefully (God-willing) team up with. I ask for all of you to pray that this can happen. Pray that another day does not go by without help for the children of Haiti.