Donating to Haiti?

Our thoughts and prayers are all with the people of Haiti and their relatives around the world who continue to attempt to make contact with friends and relatives at home. Now, as Caribbean people, we unite to assist our island neighbour. Question is – how?

Unfortunately at these times many companies quickly plan “aide drives” that collect the WRONG items for those in need. Here are some quick tips when planning your donation drives:

1. Check with INTERNATIONAL AID ORGANIZATIONS FIRST: Call/ Visit local UN or RED CROSS Offices to identify the NEEDS of the challenged country (For Haiti its food, water, financial assistance and medical assistance in addition to telecommunications)

2. CLEAR & CONSISTENT COMMUNICATION WITH CALLS TO ACTION: When telling your friends and family about the assistance efforts, follow the 5W’s and the H principle (who, what, where, when, why and how) except, start with WHY so they know the reason for the fundrasier.

3. SET DEADLINES THAT ARE REASONABLE AND CONSISTENT WITH AIDE EFFORTS: If the planes/ boats leave every Thursday with relief efforts, have deadlines each week on a TUESDAY to allow enough time and effort to get your items to the main donation centre. In other words, don’t wait until you have a large amount to donate – every small amount helps but it can ONLY Help if it gets to the area in need. Be timely and be regular.

4. CREATE A “SAFE SPACE” FOR COMMUNICATION: Everyone handles tragedy differently, but for some, talking about it helps. Have an office prayer group? Suggest they have a meeting JUST to pray on that issue? Consider a moment of silence for your company. Somethings are beyond words.

Haiti, I’m sorry. As a people, know your Caribbean Neighbours will not fail you.

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