The Haiti Blog Challenge. Yes, we can!

Everyone has heard about the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

As earthquakes are something I work with on a(n almost) daily basis (the scientific part of it, anyway), this one hit close to home. You know, I am in this constant dilemma that I am really fascinated by natural disasters, which are bound to happen no matter what, and at the same time really shocked and petrified by the destruction and pain that they leave behind. Obviously, our research is mainly concerned with studying the patterns of natural disasters in order to issue warnings and save lives.
Still, it’s kind of disturbing to admit that sometimes we’re “thrilled” at the office when something that we were predicting actually happens. We are a far cry from actually predicting the exact time and intensity of natural disasters; research and historic records are much too young to even begin to recognize larger patterns, and the vast number of different  factors that are involved in a natural disaster adds to the “confusion”. However, we do know the areas that are most prone to be hit and can at least try to educate the public and public officials to have an emergency plan in place.

I honestly wasn’t aware that Haiti was situated on or near an “active” fault zone, but that’s not saying much, because apparently “Scientists have warned for years that the island of Hispaniola, which Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic, was at risk for a major earthquake.” But one scientist also said that “The problem with these kinds of strikes is that they can remain quiescent — dormant — for hundreds of years. So it’s hard to predict when they’ll occur.” And this is exactly the crux of the matter – people, even here in earthquake-susceptible California, are just NOT PREPARED. We shouldn’t be surprised that Haiti, a country with so many other pressing problems on the forefront, was even less prepared for a disaster of this magnitude.
Just because scientists KNOW about something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that their warnings will be met with instant action.

Kelly has started an initiative that everybody should be part of:

The Help Haiti Blog Challenge

It’s basically the idea that everybody has something to offer and that you could offer a trade: your thing for cash, to donate to charity doing relief work in Haiti. Since I am not really producing/selling anything right now (even though that might change in the future – heads up!), I’ve already donated to the Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund yesterday. I donated $20, and I’m willing to donate more, because every dollar counts. Even if you can only spare $10, or even $5.

Everybody can spare $5  – just skip one of your daily caffeine fixes at Starbucks!

Do not NOT donate, because you think it’s not going to make a difference. It will. Haiti will have a long way of recovery ahead of itself – it’s not only about getting food, water and medical supplies to the victims of the earthquake now, but it’s also about helping to rebuild Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area in the weeks and months to come. Please don’t hesitate, GET INVOLVED.

Some other people in the blogosphere, who are not offering anything, have pledged to donate money for every comment that they receive on their blogs. I’ll jump on the bandwagon and will donate one dollar to the Red Cross for every single comment left on this post between now and Monday January, 18th, 2010. I know that some of you are usually not inclined to comment, but please make an exception just this once. I would love to hear about any of the following:

  • How you are able to go about your daily life when there are massive world crises unfolding
  • How you are planning to help the people of Haiti
  • What news program are you following about what’s happening in the world. (May I suggest: Democracy Now).
  • Anything.
  • If you are too busy or overwhelmed, just type two words. Help Haiti.

And if you’re so inclined, here’s

How To Join the Help Haiti Blog Challenge.

What You Can DO.

Here’s how we can share, together, so we can give, together, to our people who need and deserve help in Haiti.

  1. Sign up for the Help Haiti Blog Challenge (go here). Write about it on your blog and tag it “Help Haiti Blog Challenge“. Ask your people to join you and do the same.
  2. Add the Help Haiti Blog Challenge badge to your blog.
  3. Make your offer: I will donate ________ dollars to _________ on behalf of the next person who buys _________ from me. [This is optional:  you can, of course, JUST DONATE.]
  4. Make your donation and tell us how much you donated.
  5. Tweet about it using the hashtag #haitiblogchallenge. Update your facebook status with a request to pass on the message and the call to action. Send e-mails. Everywhere you are, online, talk about the Help Haiti Blog Challenge, tag it, and call your friends, family, colleagues – your people –  to action.

Kelly has also generously provided a couple of badges for you to wear on your site. And some code to use it. Just copy+paste it. It’s good to go.

Large Badge

Help Haiti Blog Challenge

<a href=”” target=”_blank”>
<img src=”” />

Small Badge

Help Haiti Blog Challenge Small

<a href=”” target=”_blank”>
<img src=”” />

Let’s gather our online people to help our real-life people.

You can do this. We can do this. And it will be bigger than anything we could have done alone.

Pass it on.

  1. Here is my comment…

    There is also a “Help Haiti” challenge on Facebook, if you add a gaming application like Farmville or Mafia Wars or something and “buy” certain things on these games they will donate money.

  2. It breaks your heart and then you watch a rescue or two young women run an orphanage and your heart grows.

    You think you are living paycheck to paycheck and then you realize you can sacrifice going to the gym or eating out this month and you donate this money.

    We can all do something, anything. Money. Service. Letters to our leaders. Do what you can.
    .-= Moody Chick´s last blog ..Haiti- Some Thoughts =-.

  3. San, I will gladly comment for the cause.
    I am following Cnn and the news reports and pictures make me cry, I cannot get the pictures out of my mind, feel like I am paralized.
    I have donated to the red cross and Aerzte ohne Grenzen. One of my friends in Germany is a doctor there and he just arrived in Haiti.
    Unfortunately I don’t maintain a blog, but I have many friends who are donating and trying to help…
    Thanks for what you are doing…..everybody needs to get together to help these poor people.
    Gruss aus Texas,

  4. Here is my comment!
    It’s a tragidy and I spend already money for the poor people on Haiti.
    The guys at Costco are matching the ammount you’ll spend while you’re paying for your purchase and they’ll give the money to the Red Cross!
    Every cent counts!

  5. how amazing! I love this! I love that you’re doing this!

    The world came together in the aid of my beloved Honduras back in 1998 after Hurricane Mitch. It’s about positive reciprocity and the immensity of the human heart!!

    I have donated to the red cross myself. We all pooled money together at work to donate to doctors without borders.

    I think I will do this too. I wish there was SO MUCH more I could do!
    .-= Carolina´s last blog ..“They Have Less Than Nothing” =-.

  6. This is a great initiative, every initiative to help is! I am crying when I see the news about Haiti, all the children that already don’t have anything and now this. No parents, no water, everything devastated. I donated to the red cross myself and hope that there will ba a lot more help to come through initiatives like this!

  7. add another 1$ for me.
    i think it’s great that you’re doing this!
    .-= kim´s last blog resolutions on day 12 of 2010 =-.

  8. add another $! great post love!!!!!! we can all do something you are right!

  9. One more $ from me!!! I am about to donate my delurking money. YAY! :)
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..Losing it: Week 3 =-.

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