The earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday Jan. 12 was completely devastating to the Haitian people. An estimated 111,000 lost their lives in the quake which was measured to have a magnitude of 7.0 — such strong earthquakes are only seen about 20 times a year as apposed to smaller, 2.5 magnitude earthquakes seen 900,000 a year.
A world-wide effort has been launched to provide Haitian citizens with financial support. The United States government, along with many other nations, has donated both time and money to the cause. Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, John Mayer and George Clooney have each donated a large part of their fortune to Haiti relief funds. To inspire more people to donate, Clooney hosted a “Hope for Haiti Now” concert on Friday Jan. 22, where stars such as Beyonce, Madonna, Christina Aguilera and Bruce Springsteen performed. Their performances can be bought on iTunes for 99 cents each and all proceeds go to Haiti.
Though it is heartwarming to see such care given to others during a time of need, it brings about the thought — why just now? Haiti has been in economic trouble for years. According to hopeforhaiti.com, 80 percent of Haitians fall below the poverty line. One of their main problems is simply having clean water to drink.
Haiti is not the only country struggling with poverty. Ethiopia, Niger, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, North Korea and Nepal are just some of the countries that could use our help. Though it is unrealistic to suggest that wealthy Americans donate a large portion of their income to every country in need, just a small donation can truly make a difference. According to The Tap Project, an organization formed in 2007 dedicated to giving poor countries their most basic necessity, one dollar can buy a child clean water for 40 days.
Whether you give one or one million dollars, your help is always appreciated. To donate to The Tap Project, go to www.tapproject.org/donate. To donate directly to Haiti, go to www.hopeforhaiti.com. You can also send $10 to the American Red Cross by texting HAITI to ‘90999.’
For information on how to help as a member of the College community, join the Facebook group “TCNJ Here for Haiti.”
Sources: www.cnn.com, www.tapproject.org, www.hopeforhaiti.com, www.boston.com, www.geo.mtu.edu