Responding to Haiti's Medical Emergency, One Life At a Time
In the essay The Starfish Story by Loren Eiseley, a young boy picks up starfish on the beach and throws them gently into the water. A man who sees this asks the boy what he's doing, and the boy explains he is saving their lives. The perplexed man tells the boy that saving a few starfish isn't making much difference, as there are miles of beach and hundreds of starfish to save. With a smile, as he gently scooped and tossed another rescued starfish, the young boy patiently told the man, “I made a difference for that one.”
This tale prompted me to wonder if I could find a way to assist the nurses and doctors voluntarily going to Haiti — paying their own way — with a monetary donation. Turning to the Internet for answers, I found two remarkable organizations that made it possible. I elected to donate to both organizations and it was easy to do so.
Recommendation No. 1. Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières is a phenomenal group of dedicated medical professionals with an extraordinary record of providing medical assistance to people who are struggling to survive the effects of natural disasters, warfare, or poverty. MSF is affiliated with the U.S.-based Doctors without Borders organization, as well as 18 other similar associations. You can donate to the Haiti cause on their website.
MSF describes their organization as providing "aid to nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters.” Recipients of the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize, this organization champions the causes of those less fortunate and in need of medical assistance. Their website provides updates on their efforts in Haiti and other parts of the world.Continued on the next page