Metta-Care-Earthquake Disaster in Haiti

If ever a nation deserved a change of fortunes, it has got to be poor Haiti. As the New York Times reports in breaking news today:

“A devastating earthquake struck Haiti late Tuesday afternoon, causing the collapse of the National Palace, leveling countless shantytown dwellings and bringing even more suffering to a nation that was already the hemisphere’s poorest and most disaster-prone.

The earthquake, the worst in the region in more than 200 years, left the country in a shambles. As night fell in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, fires burned near the shoreline downtown, but otherwise the city fell into darkness. The electricity was out, telephones were not working and relief workers struggled to make their way through streets blocked by rubble.”

And in the Los Angeles Times:

“Screams for help emanated from felled buildings, and chaos reigned. One diplomat called the quake a ‘catastrophe’ in one of the countries least equipped to handle it.

As night fell on the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, a city of 2 million, reports emerged of extensive destruction; homes and buildings a shambles; trapped, seriously injured victims; and residents sleeping in streets.

Tsunami alerts were issued for Cuba, the Bahamas and much of the Caribbean, and numerous aftershocks were reported.  The quake, one of the most powerful ever in the region, measured a preliminary magnitude of 7.0.”

~*~

Sister Raphael etJeff prays at The Christian Church by Faith in Pompano Beach. The church opened for prayer following the news of a devastating earthquake in Haiti. (Jim Rassol, Sun Sentinel / January 12, 2010)

Tonight (and in the days ahead) the hearts and prayers and metta of millions of people all over the world will be with the Haitians in this time of great need.  One hopes and expects that the humanitarian and medical response of the international community, Red Cross, and other relief groups will be swift and massive—and ongoing.

Those wishing to contribute immediately should contact the Red Cross in their area:

http://www.redcross.org/

The Red Cross has already pledged to release an immediate $200,000 in aid, as their web site explains:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 — The American Red Cross has pledged an initial $200,000 to assist communities impacted by today’s earthquake in Haiti, and is prepared to take further action as local responders assess the situation.

“Initial reports indicate widespread damage in Port au Prince, with continuing aftershocks,” says Tracy Reines, director of international disaster response for the American Red Cross. “As with most earthquakes, we expect to see immediate needs for food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support.”

The American Red Cross has made available all of the relief supplies from its warehouse in Panama which would provide for basic needs for approximately 5,000 families. In addition, it is deploying a disaster management specialist to Haiti, and has additional disaster specialists on standby if needed.

The American Red Cross has an extensive partnership with the Haitian Red Cross, which is expected to lead the Red Cross response to the earthquake.

You can learn more about what you can do here:

http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.1a019a978f421296e81ec89e43181aa0/?vgnextoid=a8712721ea326210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD

Donations earmarked specifically for Haiti can be made here:

https://american.redcross.org/site/Donation2?4306.donation=form1&idb=520717783&df_id=4306&s_subsrc=RCO_NewsArticle

NOTE: A friend just brought to my attention a wonderful organization based right as “ground zero” in Haiti. It’s called Partners in Health, and your donations to them will put to immediate use. Here’s their mission statement:

The PIH Vision: Whatever it takes
At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When a person in Peru, or Siberia, or rural Haiti falls ill, PIH uses all of the means at our disposal to make them well—from pressuring drug manufacturers, to lobbying policy makers, to providing medical care and social services. Whatever it takes. Just as we would do if a member of our own family—or we ourselves—were ill.

http://www.pih.org/home.html

Please consider a donation!!

Dear, dear Haitian people!  May you not lose hope!  May people trapped in rubble not lose hope!  May the intelligence and goodness and skill of your friends and neighbors come to your rescue.  May those in pain and suffering be helped and relieved. May those grieving lost loved ones find comfort in their prayers and their God.

May great goodness and love and compassion and wisdom guide the people and leaders of Haiti and show you what to do and how to do it.  May you receive great physical aid from the nations of the world.  May you also feel deeply the great love and compassion of people all over the world praying for you right now.  Dear Haitians, may you never lose hope!

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About Steven Goodheart

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." Spinoza

12 Responses to “Metta-Care-Earthquake Disaster in Haiti”

  1. On my own this is too overwhelming – it is only by connecting with your kind that I find the strength to set free the love in my heart otherwise buried under my sorrow, and that again shows me how deeply connected we all are.

    Thank you for keeping the light burning Steve, and thank you for enabling me to join in.

    With love,
    Snædís

    • You are most welcome, my friend, and believe me, you certainly give as much as you receive, if I dare say so. You’re also a light for your friends. Just you being you is a light in this world.

      So, thanks!

      Steve

  2. Devastating news. So terrible I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around it. Thank you for writing about it in your compassionate way Steve.

    I join you in my prayers.

    Snædís

    • Thanks, Snædís. I know all our hearts’ aspirations and compassion are a power. And I am grateful to have new friends who have some sense of how love can help change the universe and bless others.

      Steve

  3. I know you’re right, and you express it beautifully.

    I am kind of reeling at the moment…I just read the most recent headline on CNN.com, which says that “hundreds of thousands” are believed to have died. I was thinking, last night, in terms of a few thousand, and even that was unimaginable. I just can’t seem to get it to make any sense in my head–so many people (so many of whom have no doubt lived lives of just minimal survival) gone in just a few minutes, most without time to even understand what’s happened, I imagine. There must be a reason that these things happen, but I don’t know what it might be, except that it’s not about some kind of divine “punishment.”

    I know that their souls will be well cared-for, and that death is not the end that we’re accustomed to thinking of it as (I’ve come to think of it as just another aspect of existence), but the sorrow and fear on both sides right now must be so terrible.

    So, yes–prayer and metta.

    • I am stunned at the news of the huge death toll they are now expecting.

      I can’t say much now, because the need is so great, and I want to go and “sit” with this problem and do some very specific, directed metta…..I will say that when dealing with tragedy of this magnitude, I often find I’m the first “casualty” I have to help, in order for me to help others….take care of your dear heart, my friend!

      More later,
      Steve

  4. I just updated to web site to include this wonderful organization:

    NOTE: A friend just brought to my attention a wonderful organization based right as “ground zero” in Haiti. It’s called Partners in Health, and your donations to them will put to immediate use. Here’s their mission statement:

    The PIH Vision: Whatever it takes
    At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When a person in Peru, or Siberia, or rural Haiti falls ill, PIH uses all of the means at our disposal to make them well—from pressuring drug manufacturers, to lobbying policy makers, to providing medical care and social services. Whatever it takes. Just as we would do if a member of our own family—or we ourselves—were ill.

    http://www.pih.org/home.html

    Please consider a donation!!

  5. A “curse”–that was my first thought, too. Why is it that Haiti and other countries so utterly poorly equipped to deal with disasters always seem to be their targets? I’ve often “joked” (it’s really not a joke at all) that a huge hurricane can hit the island of Hispanola, but it will only be active right up to the border between the D.R. and Haiti so that the former is unscathed and the latter is devastated.

    I’ve been praying for the people since last night. The enormity is mind-boggling, and can make one feel so helpless; I kept imagining what last night must have been like for the people in Port-au-Prince. My only “positive” thought was that at least the survivors won’t have to be outside in cold weather.

    I knew that you’d respond to this immediately and with great compassion.

    Thanks.

    Nancy

    • Thanks, Nancy. Yes, this sort of stuff does make one pretty small and helpless…and yet, people like you pray, and do metta, and if I have any idea how all of this “being here” stuff works out in the end, I think it changes everything to do so, not the least, for our own hearts…

      Steve

    • Nancy, after hearing about Pat Robertson’s incredibly ignorant and pernicious (and totally un-Christian!) remarks saying that the Haitians woes were due to having made a “pact with the devil” 200 years ago gain their freedom as slaves, I couldn’t bear to leave my original wording at the opening of this post. So I changed the part about it feeling like the nation had been under a “curse.” I didn’t want wording that sounded anything like what he said, even though I was making an entirely different point in sympathy with their plight.

      I have to say I was greatly tempted to rebut Robertson’s ignorant comments on my blog, but love didn’t give me the go-ahead and so I left Robertson to the pummeling in the press that he so justly deserves.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. All-Embracing Compassion-The Heart-Practice of Tonglen « Metta Refuge - 2010/01/13

    […] of Tonglen 2010/01/13 Steven Goodheart Leave a comment Go to comments The devastating earthquake in Haiti is a terrible blow to good hearts everywhere.  Already there has been a huge outpouring of […]

  2. Red Cross Haiti - 2010/01/13

    […] Metta-Care-Earthquake Disaster In Haiti « Metta RefugeTuesday, January 12, 2010 — The American Red Cross has pledged an initial $200000 to assist communities impacted by today’s earthquake in Haiti, and is prepared to take further a… […]

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