Monday, January 18, 2010

Rant: Emergency Charity?

Turn on the news and the dominating story is the devastation caused by an earthquake in Haiti. Very quickly after the earthquake, numerous organizations and individuals began working on raising charitable contributions to help out the Haitians. Restaurants, wineries, wine stores, bakeries, wine & food lovers and more have all been very supportive of this worthy cause. It has been an amazing effort.

But it also bothers me to a certain degree. Why did it take a terrible tragedy before people were willing to contribute to helping Haiti's problems?

Haiti may be the poorest nation in the world, and its abject poverty has obviously caused great harms to the people of Haiti. Food and clean water have long been difficult to obtain for some Haitians. Yet how often had you heard of charitable efforts to raise money to help Haiti prior to the earthquake? Probably very little, if at all. The harms caused by the earthquake might not have been so great if Haiti had received much more support prior to the tragedy.

So what am I suggesting? Don't just give when tragedy strikes. Give to as many different causes as you can, at all times, and not just when a catastrophe occur. I often post about local, charitable food and wine events. Most of these are for everyday problems, such as diabetes, and not any immediate tragedies. The goal is to prevent significant problems, such as through research and preventive methods.

Don't just react to tragedy, but be more proactive and try to prevent it.

Dine and drink with charitable passion!


Anonymous said...

well said. we should give all year round, no matter how little we can spare.

Stacy Nelson said...

That's beautiful and spot on how we should live our lives every day. Once the tragedy has passed, perhaps a reminder once in a while will be appropriate...

Couves said...

The disaster in Haiti isn’t just about dumb luck, it’s about poverty. An equivalent quake hit San Francisco in 1989 and fewer than 100 people died. In Haiti, it’s probably 50,000+ dead. Nature kills, but it’s poverty that’s really deadly.

Jacqueline Church said...

I actually have met quite a few people that have been to Haiti on missions that were public health and nutrition driven projects. The people of Haiti have endured soul-crushing poverty for so long, and "leaders" who've only further impoverished their lives, their wealth and their resources.

I've just packed up some toiletries and meds and clothes for nurses going on Monday to provide aid.

Partners in Health is one organization that's doing a tremendous amount of good work there. I encourage anyone that can to make a donation.