Monday, January 18, 2010

A political rant and a Hands spread to honor Haiti

Before I get on my soapbox, I just want to comment on yesterday's post. I have over 400 rocking horses. I have collected them (and been generously gifted with many) since the 80s and I love, love, love every one of them. There are tiny ones no bigger than a nickle, there are huge ones that children can ride, and there are all sizes in between. There are rocking horses in every room in my house. I also have rocking rabbits, and several other rocking animals. If they rock or roll, they are welcome in my collection. You can't look anywhere in my home that you don't see at least one, usually several. I will show a few of them any week I don't have a changing landscape to share. Now let's talk about Haiti.

I'm not one to get on a soapbox, but I just had to rant about two issues concerning Haiti. One concerns the lack of personnel, facilities, and medication to take care of the wounded. The other concerns credit card companies.

First, it's bad enough that people who have nothing, are given help by willing and decent people, only to have a portion of it used to line the pockets of the credit card companies. Now I'm all for business, but not bilking. It seems the credit card companies are taking as much as 3% of donations given to Haiti survivors. Many people who donate to various charities do so using a credit card. These credit card companies are getting rich off the donations that hardworking people are sending. It's not enough that the credit card companies are constantly raising interest rates, they now have found a way to charge unsuspecting donors for their kindness and caring.

Although some of the credit card companies have waived their fees for certain charities, others are still being taxed. Many charities, including Doctors Without Borders don't fall under this protective umbrella. If you intend to make a donation, please be certain that your entire contribution makes it to the charity you specify. Either check with your credit card company if you are paying by credit card, or pay by check or PayPal. Remember that the credit card companies take this money off the top, so that means less reaches the charity.

Next, ask yourself where is the money being spent. It seems there are no supplies, no drinking water, no sanitary conditions, much less antibiotics, or ways to repair broken legs and arms. The dead, lying in the streets with either a sheet or cardboard over their broken bodies, is heartbreaking to see, but no drinking water and food are just as bad, if not worse.

Although reports that the UN removed doctors from Port au Prince on Friday due to security concerns, this was actually not the case. This was a decision made by head doctors from various countries to evacuate. Thankfully Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical adviser, along with CNN staff and a Haitian nurse who refused to evacuate, were there to help overnight, providing makeshift care.

Although I couldn't find any documentation, I heard that World aid volunteers had been trying to get food to the Haitian people, but some of them began shouting that the food was contaminated, thus causing many Haitians to be afraid to take both food and water. Can things get any worse?

Sources:

1. "As Wallets Open For Haiti, Credit Card Companies Take A Big Cut," The Huffington Post, January 14, 2010

2. "Some Card Fees Waived for Haiti Aid," The New York Times, January 14, 2010

3. "
False Reports of UN Ordering Medical Personnel to Leave Haiti Field Hospital," UN Dispatch, January 16, 2010

4. "
Security concerns cause doctors to leave hospital, quake victims," CNN.com, January 17, 2010

5. Americans requesting news about family members in Haiti may call 1.888.407.4747, which is set up by the State Dept.



I could not create a post with no art or photographs, so this one is for Haiti. I call it Faith, and hope that is what the people of Haiti have: faith that many survivors will be found, faith that those who are sick will survive and get well, and faith that International help will show Haitians they have touched the hearts of the world.

Today's blog is by a missionary couple and their children who recently moved to Haiti. Their names are Cody and Maria Whittaker and their blog has tons of photos of Haiti, the people, the town (Jacmel) both before and after the quake. It's well worth your time to take a look at their blog to learn a bit about this country so many of us know little about, and to see the beauty before, and the devastation after the quake. Be sure to click on older posts because the photos on their blog are stunning and revealing.

8 thoughtful remarks:

Marilyn Rock said...

Great post Elizabeth! Love your hands spread; amazing and moving. We sent a donation to the Haiti fund through our phone company. The amount we donated shows up on our next bill and then we pay it. I never liked using c cards for donations. Thanks for more awareness on this. You're terrific! xxoo

Diane said...

Thank you for this, Elizabeth. I should have know about the credit card co.--what is the matter with people--I mean come on, now!! And also thank you for the blog link--I will go there.

Terri Kahrs said...

I think that there's a certain place in hell for those who swindle and prey on the poor and weak. Thank you, Elizabeth, for your informative post today. Hugs, Terri xoxo

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Thought provoking post Elizabeth, such a lot of misery and suffering it's totally heartbreaking and devastating!
Your hand pages are beautiful and poignant.
oxo

Donna: said...

Wonderful post E. Your thoughts reflect so many others at this time. Your latest hand spread is so beautiful and touching.

Halle said...

Wonderful post. I never even thought about the CC companies still taking their cut from a charity. Thanks for the heads up.

Marlynn said...

Execellent post, Elizabeth. It is so sad to listen to the reports. As I was coming home tonight from tennis the news was about the gangs in Haiti and the prisoners that walked out of prisons. I pray that those trying to help will find the ways and means to do so. Your hands layout is moving. The credit cards one day will get theirs.... what goes around comes around....

The Rustic Victorian said...

Good Point! Thanks