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Friday, January 15, 2010

I've sent money; now what?

A country in a mess has been hurled into the abyss.

Money is pouring into aid agencies in the wake of Haiti's earthquake and everyone makes a point of mentioning the catastrophe in appropriately grim and muted tones, so that we can say we thought about it today.

Then we pick our favourite registered charity to donate to, so we'll feel better and settle back into our easy, comfortable lives where our biggest struggles concern self-fulfillment, offspring micromanagement and worry about stupid shit like "do these pants make me look fat?"

These are things that, for the most part, we have control over, but our level of obsession would indicate otherwise. Worry over stupid shit is a privilege and I'm grateful for those worries.

Angst over Haiti is another matter. Aside from writing cheques, what can we really do? It's not practical to jump on a plane and join in the efforts. And last I checked, I didn't see much of a need for technical writers in Port au Prince. Best not get in the way there and leave the real work to others, I guess.

So, now what?

Hopefully that will become clear in the coming weeks.

On another note, last night I heard that Canadians had raised over $24 million in 24 hours and the government has pledged to match those funds. But it's unclear of how much of that will qualify for matching government funds.

Here are a few links to charities collecting for Haiti relief:

Canadian Red Cross


Oxfam Canada

Health Partners International Canada

Plan Canada


  1. I've been thinking the same thing. I have an uneasy feeling that sending money is not going to help much in the short term, other than a sop to our collective conscience. Money doesn't clear roads or dig people out from rubble, and you can't eat it. I hope it will be more helpful in the long term.

    And yes, I am grateful for the thirty-seven minutes I spent lamenting my fat face and squishy ass today. Cheers.

  2. Thanks so much for those links. I plan to check them out.