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Author Topic: Helping Haiti  (Read 4270 times)

Tyler

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Helping Haiti
« on: 14 Jan 2010, 14:50 »

I know serious posts are rarely the norm around here, but considering the scope and magnitude of the earthquakes that rocked Haiti, I implore everyone to give just a little bit to some manner of relief fund or go out and donate blood. This is unfortunately a country with next to no means to help itself out, and is truly completely reliant on outside assistance. Estimates are starting to go as high as 100,000 dead already. I'll even personally match the first$250 people post here that they donate. Sorry for being a bummer

Some places taking donations:
Red Cross
Doctors without Borders
UNICEF USA
Save the Children
« Last Edit: 14 Jan 2010, 15:04 by Tyler »
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #1 on: 14 Jan 2010, 15:04 »

I already got my Stillerstrong headband, what more do you want?
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #2 on: 14 Jan 2010, 15:49 »

Oxfam happen to have a base in Haiti, which is undamaged - so they are already active and on the spot.

Oxfam (UK)
Oxfam (America)

If you are UK taxpayer, remember to specify "Gift Aid", as they can then recover tax you have paid to increase your gift by 28%.  I don't know if other countries have similar schemes.
« Last Edit: 14 Jan 2010, 15:56 by pwhodges »
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #3 on: 14 Jan 2010, 15:54 »

Think about how much better it would have been to donate all this money before a bunch of people died.

It could have gone to stuff like building infrastructure that wouldn't collapse in an earthquake!
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #4 on: 14 Jan 2010, 16:00 »

I really hate to say it, but I hate it when it takes a natural disaster for people to realize certain countries have major economic problems.

That said, tomorrow is payday and I am donating some money and will go out and give blood sometime in the near future.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #5 on: 14 Jan 2010, 16:01 »

Think about how much better it would have been to donate all this money before a bunch of people died.

It could have gone to stuff like building infrastructure that wouldn't collapse in an earthquake!
You've got it on good authority that a significant amount of aid would've gone to earthquake-preparedness ventures? 'Cause I'd guess most aid money would go to, say, HIV prevention, or general poverty relief. In fact I'd guess infrastructure projects would be more focused on making things reliable in day-to-day life, let alone reliable when massive natural disaster strikes.

A+ trolling, though.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #6 on: 14 Jan 2010, 16:04 »

Think about how much better it would have been to donate all this money before a bunch of people died.

That doesn't invalidate giving now.

Quote
It could have gone to stuff like building infrastructure that wouldn't collapse in an earthquake!

It could  have, but would  it?  The presidential palace looked pretty nice until it fell down; and what donation would have made the UN's building stronger?

In short, give if you can and want to, and don't be an arsehole to others who are doing so.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #7 on: 14 Jan 2010, 16:09 »

I really hate to say it, but I hate it when it takes a natural disaster for people to realize certain countries have major economic problems.

However much effort we may put into finding out about problem areas and telling others about them, there will always be another that has passed you by.  There's nothing to be gained by feeling guilty, or making others do so.  However aware we are, none of us can solve all the world's problems, and it is best for us to do what we can depending on the needs we are  aware of.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #8 on: 14 Jan 2010, 16:15 »

It could have gone to stuff like building infrastructure that wouldn't collapse in an earthquake!

Support Architecture for Humanity's reconstruction plans >>>
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #9 on: 14 Jan 2010, 16:25 »

I wish I had £250 to give to Medecines Sans Frontieres.

(I gave them £10 out of this dole payment and I'll give them another £10 out the next)
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #10 on: 14 Jan 2010, 19:43 »

Sorry to shit on the thread I guess, I am strongly in favor of charity and y'all doin a good thing, I am just so sick of reactionary liberal "action" and the idea that problems can only be fixed after they get incredibly bad that I lashed out a little.

Like, we only give if people are dying, but they're dying all the time, and a little support now ain't gonna do shit about the country being fucked up, so maybe we should be trying to fix that? Or I don't know, shit doesn't make that much sense to me anymore.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #11 on: 14 Jan 2010, 20:03 »

Things were pretty bad in Haiti from a socio-political perspective but the earthquake made things ten thousand times worse in a more tangible sense.

On the one hand, yes we could probably all stand to do more on a global scale. However, that knowledge isn't much help to a country which has just had its infrastructure all but entirely destroyed. What they need right now is less debate and a lot more aid.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #12 on: 14 Jan 2010, 20:23 »

Things were pretty bad in Haiti from a socio-political perspective but the earthquake made things ten thousand times worse in a more tangible sense.

I don't quite get how you are making the contrast, because poverty (which is the way in which things were bad from a "socio-political perspective") is tangible. But I agree that the earthquake multiplied suffering.

Quote
On the one hand, yes we could probably all stand to do more on a global scale. However, that knowledge isn't much help to a country which has just had its infrastructure all but entirely destroyed. What they need right now is less debate and a lot more aid.

I don't think Kieffer is saying that giving aid to Haiti is up for debate.

For me, I get uncomfortable at all the things people post on facebook because it seems to come from a position of, "These people are poor, therefore they need our help." On it's face, there's nothing wrong with that. It does imply that the fact that this is occurring in Haiti is especially tragic (as opposed to if this happened in, say, a country in Western Europe) because of how terrible the situation has been there already. Again, nothing wrong with recognizing that. However, the implicit assumption seems to be that Haiti was poor before this earthquake Just Because -- some countries just happen to be poor, and there's no why. In other words, there doesn't seem to be any awareness that our (U.S., anyway) government is in many ways culpable for how vulnerable they were to this natural catastrophe.

Uh, I guess to simplify it even more crudely, it's in many ways 'our' (ergh) fault that they (oh I guess that should be in quotes too) need 'our' help so badly now.

Does that make sense?

On the other hand I'm pretty young so I probably still feel the need to criticize the people around me so I can feel smart. :|
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #13 on: 14 Jan 2010, 20:24 »





Given some dole money to MSF. You can't be held to account for doing a good thing, even if it is a reaction, unless your inaction allowed the thing you're reacting to to happen. Since I don't remember planting a thermonuclear bomb in the fault lines under Haiti I think I'm pretty cool with myself.
« Last Edit: 14 Jan 2010, 20:26 by KharBevNor »
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #14 on: 14 Jan 2010, 20:32 »

Also,

What they need right now is less debate and a lot more aid.

In principle this may not be the best thing? Like, yes, I know that story about the boy whose drowning and needs to be helped instead of being lectured, but the effects of / responses to this event are going to be happening on a very large scale, such that a discussion about what's going on is necessary lest people just throw money at the situation without there being any accountability, because that does result in real harm and is evil. Hurricane Katrina is the example that comes most readily to my mind.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #15 on: 14 Jan 2010, 20:33 »

I don't quite get how you are making the contrast, because poverty (which is the way in which things were bad from a "socio-political perspective") is tangible. But I agree that the earthquake multiplied suffering.

I meant makes it more tangible to people who have literally never heard of the myriad issues which have blighted Haiti over. Everybody knows what an earthquake is and the effect it can have on a country. However, the other issues are less obvious and immediate. Sadly, charity inevitably has a marketing/advertising aspect.

Uh, I guess to simplify it even more crudely, it's in many ways 'our' (ergh) fault that they (oh I guess that should be in quotes too) need 'our' help so badly now.

I think the fact that the west isn't doing enough to fight poverty on a global scale is entirely obvious to everybody who is likely to read this thread.

However, the immediate issue is the earthquake, which sadly you can't pin entirely on the west. If it was the most stable country in the world it would still need some aid right now.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #16 on: 14 Jan 2010, 20:38 »

In principle this may not be the best thing? Like, yes, I know that story about the boy whose drowning and needs to be helped instead of being lectured, but the effects of / responses to this event are going to be happening on a very large scale, such that a discussion about what's going on is necessary lest people just throw money at the situation without there being any accountability, because that does result in real harm and is evil. Hurricane Katrina is the example that comes most readily to my mind.

Again, really obvious stuff I would have thought would occur to everybody likely to be posting on this forum.

On the one hand, I felt a similar sentiment upon initially reading this thread. On the other, right now I think we can afford to suspend our cynicism just a tiny amount in the face of such a calamity. Making extensive arguments about what should have been done before is all well and good but I believe what Tyler intended this thread to be was a way to draw attention to the fact that there was a really serious earthquake and people need aid. The implication that anybody who wants to donate doesn't understand the situation is insulting.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #17 on: 14 Jan 2010, 20:44 »

Okay, I see what you meant on tangibility.

I dunno, I don't think it hurts to say obvious things sometimes. I mean like, I know I would have benefited from hearing this sort of thing spelled out at one point, so I don't mean to imply anything about what specific people do or don't understand.

Yeah the whole thing about need to market charitable causes is very strange to me. On the one hand, how depressing, people suck, etc., but on the other hand, it's so much better than nothing (maybe) (probably) (well I should specify the ambiguity is whether or not the alternative is 'nothing')????????

Also: I can imagine Kieffer posts as responding to like, the way people have been talking about this event In General rather than specifically the post Tyler made. Which doesn't necessarily excuse him, but it explained it in my mind anyway.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #18 on: 14 Jan 2010, 20:44 »

However much effort we may put into finding out about problem areas and telling others about them, there will always be another that has passed you by.  There's nothing to be gained by feeling guilty, or making others do so.  However aware we are, none of us can solve all the world's problems, and it is best for us to do what we can depending on the needs we are  aware of.

I know, it was more of me being angry that things wouldn't have been as bad. Earthquakes happen and I know some reasons why Haiti was so bad off before the earthquake, but because of their poverty, poor health, and minimal infrastructure (which is pretty much wiped out now), they're so much worse off. People have a better chance of surviving if they are healthy and the places they live in would have held up better had they been in better shape to begin with. It's just sad, you know? And it's terrible that they are having such a hard time getting help not only into the country, but once it's in there, getting it where it needs to be. But I am glad that so many people are helping out so soon.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #19 on: 14 Jan 2010, 20:47 »

Was that implied? It may have been implied. I may have posted in anger. Like ruyi said, the post was really more about the fact that every motherfucker on my twitter feed and every website I've been to in the last couple days has been suggesting I donate, and the entire internet definitely has not thought about the stuff y'all been talking about in this thread.

Again, giving aid is good! Realistically I am just makin posts to justify the fact that there is pretty much no way I am gonna donate shit to this cause, because I am not that good at being a person.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #20 on: 14 Jan 2010, 20:50 »

Also: I can imagine Kieffer posts as responding to like, the way people have been talking about this event In General rather than specifically the post Tyler made. Which doesn't necessarily excuse him, but it explained it in my mind anyway.

I specifically didn't make any mention of Kieffer's post because I know exactly what he was trying to say. He wasn't trolling, he just made his point in a manner which if you didn't know him might come out as being critical. I understand.

However, there will be others who see this thread as an example to chastise those asking for aid now when this is actually a really good time to flex those charitable muscles because an earthquake just destroyed half a country.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #21 on: 14 Jan 2010, 21:11 »

a little support now ain't gonna do shit about the country being fucked up, so maybe we should be trying to fix that?

I agree with the idea that throwing money and clothes and everything else at developing countries and the world's most impoverished people does more harm than good, but there's a difference between a long-term lack of money, infrastructure, access to water, food, etc and a massive natural disaster where getting aid out quickly will literally save hundreds, if not thousands of lives.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #22 on: 15 Jan 2010, 00:51 »

a little support now ain't gonna do shit about the country being fucked up
At this stage, it is.  No country will escape getting more fucked up while there are bodies lying in the streets and the parliament building is a pile of rubble.

In the wider perspective away from immediate crises, awareness is crucial, because without that, no-one will have any reason to help others anywhere.  And some people do get on with this without trumpeting it about (though the present global economic crisis has made it harder for everyone).  Pointing out sources of information you come across can be more helpful than coming over as a sourpuss; for instance, although we are actually bombarded with relevant information, I like also to get a slightly less mainstream view of the world's problems, which I find in a UK publication (based in Oxford, in fact) called New Internationalist.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #23 on: 15 Jan 2010, 01:16 »

For those who are expressly worried about giving their money to organisations which might use funds in an inappropriate or ineffective manner, here are two possibilities -

Partners in Health work with grass-roots Haitian charities and organisations, which limits the amount of outside interference.

Direct Relief spend less than 2% of donations on overheads.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #24 on: 15 Jan 2010, 01:35 »

Why is it wrong that people haven't "thought" extensivly about this?

I mean, their money is as good as yours, no matter how much you claim to have thought about the socio political implications.

Lets put it bluntly, these people need help at the moment, in terms of food aid and the inevitable threat of disease/famine. Lets just do this now and then you guys can go back to arguing about the western world and its obligation to stopping every sort of injustice without military force? mmmmkay?
« Last Edit: 15 Jan 2010, 01:39 by Josefbugman »
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #25 on: 15 Jan 2010, 06:37 »

Money is useless if it is sent to the wrong place. Just making a donation to any charity doesn't necessarily give any additional help to people in Haiti, so thinking is important (incidentally, I can't believe how often it's necessary to actually argue in favour of thinking about things). And if a devastating earthquake doesn't prompt people to discuss the fact that just giving a small amount of money to charity in no way satisfies your moral obligation as a human being to aid other humans then what will?

Giving additional aid when there's a disaster is a good thing since regardless of anything else going on anybody will need help when something like this happens, but it ought to highlight the fact the current state of affairs in the world is quite simply not acceptable instead of covering it up. And I find the idea that such disasters should silence people pointing out this usually ignored but glaringly obvious fact horrific. You can talk about things and give money or assistance to really good organisations you know.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #26 on: 15 Jan 2010, 07:36 »

I know that thinking about things is important for most of life, indeed I am pretty much sure a lot of people would be in a lot less dire situation had other people thought it through first. But this is disaster relief, even with the infrastructure and logistical problems that are hampering aid at the moment money and food and etc will still be useful, regardless of how much "thought" is put into it.

We have to deal with what we have at the moment through what means we have. You just make yourselves look bad by saying stuff about how the world needs to alter now. It makes you look like screeching harpies going "TOLD YOU SO, TOLD YOU SO" and no-one will be willing to listen to whatever point you raise, because you say it with such obvious politics behind it.

Wait, wait until afterwards and then start asking questions, otherwise all you are doing is damaging yourselves and whatever the cause is you are trying to promote.

At least thats how I percieve it, no doubt I am a minority of one, but thats how it appears.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #27 on: 15 Jan 2010, 10:32 »

Money is useless if it is sent to the wrong place. Just making a donation to any charity doesn't necessarily give any additional help to people in Haiti, so thinking is important (incidentally, I can't believe how often it's necessary to actually argue in favour of thinking about things).

Again, the implication that Tyler or any of the people who posted early in this thread supporting donations did so with no thought to this is pretty insulting. Asking people to donate to a worthy cause does not preclude being aware of global concerns, just an ability to momentarily delay the cynicism and prioritise.

And if a devastating earthquake doesn't prompt people to discuss the fact that just giving a small amount of money to charity in no way satisfies your moral obligation as a human being to aid other humans then what will?

But if you start a thread saying that and it doesn't exactly encourage people to donate does it?

It's troubling when people use a natural disaster to exert their supposed moral superiority over other people. I'd argue that ultimately it's counter-productive to belittle people for starting to take an interest because this is a really good time to do so.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #28 on: 15 Jan 2010, 12:49 »

Er, I made no implications about Tyler or anyone else posting early in this thread, nor was I suggesting this thread should have been started any other way (I thought it was a good post as it happens). I was just responding to what Josefbugman said which appeared to me to be basically defending not thinking and criticising people talking about how we can avoid things like this happening in the future. I guess I just don't see anything wrong with disasters prompting people saying "look, we can prevent things being this bad". And inevitably if you say something is wrong that does involve criticism of other people, but what else can you do, never say anything because it means criticising someone?

I have to admit I probably wouldn't have said anything here in most circumstances since without what Josefbugman said I don't feel like I have anything to add to the fact that people in Haiti need help and the excellent suggestions of organisations doing good work (Partners In Health in particular seem to be doing very good work), but I genuinely really object to the position he's advancing to the extent that I find it offensive.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #29 on: 15 Jan 2010, 16:31 »

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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #30 on: 15 Jan 2010, 18:47 »

ALSO be aware that donations made to charity via text message will not transfer until your phone bill is paid. Just charge directly.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #31 on: 15 Jan 2010, 19:20 »

Roger Ebert deciding to blog has been one of my favorite things to happen to the internet in the last few years. This is actually related, since in this link he takes a moment to provide a link to the Red Cross while blasting Rush Limbaugh.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #32 on: 16 Jan 2010, 11:20 »

Donations are all good and great, but what if I wanted to volunteer and head over there? is that doable? QC, answers
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #33 on: 16 Jan 2010, 11:28 »

Not for the American Red Cross, according to their website. Don't know about other groups.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #34 on: 16 Jan 2010, 12:22 »

Donations are all good and great, but what if I wanted to volunteer and head over there? is that doable? QC, answers

A friend of mine does things like that all the time. He has built so many houses in so many places after so many natural disasters I'd struggle to list them all (I do know it includes helping in New Orleans.) The funny thing is (Depending on which definition of funny you take) he works on an oil rig in his down time.

I volunteered at a couple of Oxfams & the people that work for them gave me some interesting facts about donations and how long they take to get some where they are needed. I've had most of a bottle wine so I'm not going to quote too much as it will wrong, but the £2 a month deals you see on tv/get harassed in the street for take 2 years of admin fees to do any good, I remember that much.

Somehow these conversations always remind me of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challenge_Anneka

What it doesn't say, is although the orphanage is still standing, 2 week after the camera crews left, locals stormed the place and stole most of the clothes and nappies and medical supplies.
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Candle

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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #35 on: 16 Jan 2010, 12:52 »

how did haiti get so poor in the first place?

did it have something to do with the 'first world' government exploiting them? now these same bourgeoisie who caused the problem look to their lower ranking citizens to use their monetary allowance to help out the folks they fucked over?

or are haitians just lazy and don't want clean water, much preferring habitual dysentery and widespread famine?

hmm... i'm seriously wondering this, not just trying to be a self-congratulatory pretentious prick-mouth. i know that this whole 'free-trade' dealy is fucking over a lot of the latin americas, wondering if haiti is one of the by-products. if this is the case, it's going to take a lot more than a few hundred-thousand dollars to fix things up for these poor chaps, when something is seriously wrong with their socio-economic infrastructure.

in short, i would give some money if i had anything to give and if i knew it would actually make a difference. i'm a poor as piss student struggling to even pay rent because my government thinks that socialized anything but police and other shit that they can use as enforcers is morally wrong.

EDIT: don't want to seem like i'm anti-helping them out or anything( i would seriously give some money if i had it to give)- or like i'm challenging anyone to change their opinion. just wondering why there has to be so little wealth for the majority of the people in the world where there is a whole shitload for the few (myself included). i guess when things like this happen and there's all kinds of pictures of the tragedy i just see more of a 'wow, what the fuck? that kid probably didn't have much of a home to begin with and now this shit?'
« Last Edit: 16 Jan 2010, 12:58 by Candle »
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maxusy3k

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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #36 on: 16 Jan 2010, 13:11 »

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KvP

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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #37 on: 16 Jan 2010, 13:53 »

Donations are all good and great, but what if I wanted to volunteer and head over there? is that doable? QC, answers
The airport's not in great shape at the moment. Maybe shipping in from Florida is an option.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #38 on: 16 Jan 2010, 18:12 »

Donations are all good and great, but what if I wanted to volunteer and head over there? is that doable? QC, answers

http://hodr.org/volunteer-info/

In short: not yet.
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plumbob78

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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #39 on: 17 Jan 2010, 07:34 »


did it have something to do with the 'first world' government exploiting them? now these same bourgeoisie who caused the problem look to their lower ranking citizens to use their monetary allowance to help out the folks they fucked over?

Although the U.S. occupied Haiti for 19 years, it seems when we left Haiti was better off than before we got there (oddly enough). Haiti's had dictators and kleptocracies and has basically been fucked over by the people running the country. This seems to happen in most countries at some point after independence. I've got no clue how to prevent that, short of not having colonies in the first place, but it's a bit too late for that.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #40 on: 17 Jan 2010, 07:59 »

The IMF are being their usual disgusting selves in the midst of all the disaster: http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion/517494/
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #41 on: 17 Jan 2010, 09:27 »

So um, I work at a grocery store and it's in cahoots with the Red Cross, people can donate to the red cross through any of our check-outs. More or less if we want to we ask people if they would like to make a donation, they can donate as little as .50 cents, so sometimes I ask people if they'd like to round up to the nearest dollar or five dollars or ten etc depending on what they buy. Or I just ask in a general way.

I think this is a really nice thing because while people should feel driven to go out and donate on their own this makes it more convenient and gets people to donate who might otherwise not.

Eitherway, I know I shouldn't feel good about this, but um. Last night in a 5 hour shift I had 875 dollars donated to my check out, which is apparently a record high for any charity they've taken part it. One guy ended up donating 250 dollars but most of this was in 5-20 dollar donations. I uh, more or less this made me feel really warm and fuzzy that people were willing to participate at all, we've done charities with food banks and people usually just don't give a shit, at least awareness is up.

(I am not participating in the debate here, more or less. aw.)
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tommydski

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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #42 on: 17 Jan 2010, 11:24 »

Nothing I do is altruistic. I wouldn't do anything that didn't benefit me in some small way.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #43 on: 17 Jan 2010, 12:31 »

Interesting but obviously one-sided take on the Haiti/US relationship from the Indypendent Media Center.

Why The US Owes Haiti Billions.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #44 on: 18 Jan 2010, 07:25 »

One of the things that is helping me feel a little less negative about Haiti is the fact that the US has swung straight into action and seems to actually be doing something towards solving the crisis. Obviously emergency response doesn't solve any problems former administrations may have caused or contributed to, but it's definitely a good sign about the current one. I wish there was a similar response from the UK (or if there is, I wish the UK media would cover it), but understandably our government are a bit tied up at the moment worrying about the election.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #45 on: 18 Jan 2010, 07:38 »

I made a few donations personally, and I asked my boss if we could collect donations from customers at our cash counters. He said it would be too much hassle from HR, and he wasn't even going to consider it. Sigh.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #46 on: 21 Jan 2010, 02:00 »

My work is doing a thing, they've given $100,000 to the Red Cross but they're also willing to match any donation the employees make as well. So I guess I can feel good about that, knowing my donation is doubled.

Also I wanted to share this. It's heartbreaking, incredibly incredibly heartbreaking.
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Re: Helping Haiti
« Reply #47 on: 23 Jan 2010, 08:56 »

So a portion of the money people donate to the red cross is being used to get solar panels. This is good news.
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