Ever since the earthquake in Haiti, we’ve been trying to discern how our little community can help. Tragedies like this bring out the best in people, but they also provide fertile ground for scam artists to capitalize on people’s sympathy and desire to help. Fear of being taken advantage of can cause inaction.
So it’s great to be networked with others who are in uniquely strategic positions to get on-the-ground information and be of real help. Through JR Woodward, I found out about that Cornerstone Community Church is in such a position. They’re part of the Ecclesia Network, and have been working in the Dominican Republic for many years (which shares the island with Haiti). Through their organization Del Camino Connection, they’ve established a two-phase plan to provide cost-effective and responsible assistance and relief to Haiti.
Phase one involves funneling locally purchased relief supplies through churches, ministry partners and community-based organizations connected to the coalition in Haiti. The immediate request from our partners is cash donations so that we can purchase supplies in Dominican cities along the border with Haiti. From previous experience, we have learned that containers sent from abroad take up precious time in transport, customs processing, and transport to the emergency site.
Phase two of the plan will draw from the assessment and mapping currently happening in Haiti. Once emergency processes are met and condition are stabilized, we will be requesting in-kind contributions.
We are encouraging our community to give to their Haiti Disaster Relief Fund, knowing that it is going to meet needs wisely. You can give online right now, or bring a special offering to our worship gathering tonight which will go directly to this fund.