Give a Gift to The Earth Challenge - Week 3

This week's challenge was going to be all about our use of hot water, but a more timely challenge has arisen in my heart as a result of the disaster in Haiti.

Keep in mind that this first wave of deaths resulting from the earthquake and its damage will be just the tip of the iceberg as citizens go without clean water, food, or access to medical care. We can hope and pray that our international efforts make a difference, but it's guaranteed that more deaths will result from this.

I don't say this to depress anyone, but just to let you know: if you can do nothing about this week's challenge THIS WEEK, do it another week. Or, if you find yourself able to help now, consider making Haiti a regular benificiary of your efforts.

Right now most aid organisations are asking for money to aid them in their efforts. Two that I trust to get the job done and not waste a lot on overhead are The International Red Cross (you can donate to a local office and designate Haiti or donate online) and the Mennonite Central Committee. I've worked with both of these organisations as a volunteer in the past and I can attest to their reliability.

Other organisations being recommended by those who have done some research are available online at Charity Vault and GuideStar. And, of course, there's always the Doctor's Without Borders program as well as other "without borders" programs (though you should verify any others before you donate).

My challenge for this week is to seek out a way to help Haiti. If you've got the cash to make a donation now, do so. Please don't text your donation as though it's convienant it can take up to 90 days for the organisation to receive your money. If you feel you can make a a regular monthly commitment, do that now too. Contact your preferred organisation and set it up.

If you're like me and feeling the cash crunch and just don't know where you'll get the extra money this week, commit to donating when you have it. Or use what you DO have to donate. Extra clothes, toys, furniture in the house? Sell it on Ebay, Kijiji, or Facebook and donate the money raised. Crafty? Sell something locally or on Etsy and donate the money raised. Live near an office of an aid organisation and have some free time? Drop by and ask if there's anything you can do - answer phones, fold mail - for the Haiti relief effort. Or volunteer time to local relief efforts in order to free up time for an experienced volunteer to spend on the Haiti effort.

If you absoutely have no money, no way to raise money, and no way to volunteer (please really think about this before deciding you can't) than commit yourself to getting others to donate. Blog about it, write a letter to your local paper, talk to your church and community groups.

We can all give somehow.

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