Message from Steve Nantz
I work for Mercy Corps, and part of my job is to raise money from large numbers of people I don't know. But with Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti, I want to reach out directly to people I DO know. I've set up a personal fundraiser (this page) where I'm asking for a donation to help Mercy Corps deploy an emergency response team, together with critically needed aid and supplies, to Haiti.
Most of our initial work will be in providing water, food, medical supplies and sanitation for as many people as possible. Soon thereafter we will also likely work on jump-starting the local economy with ‘Cash for Work’ programs, in which people are paid to clean up rubble and rebuild. It is also highly likely that we will work with children and youth, helping them to recover from the shattering emotional trauma of the disaster. In the longer term, microfinance programs to help small businesses get up and operating are also likely.
Mercy Corps is in Haiti for the long haul. We will be there long after the journalists and cameras have left. The reason is simple -- one consequence of such a horrific event is that it presents an opportunity for producing lasting, positive change; we will help the Haitian people 'build back better.'
Regrettably, we’ve had to do all this before: Mercy Corps has extensive experience in earthquake response, following major quakes in 2009 in Indonesia; in 2008 in China; in 2007 in Peru; and in 2005 in Pakistan. Hopefully we won't have to do it again for a very long time.
I feel blessed every day to live a comfortable life in safe surroundings. The people of Port au Prince, in the best of times, probably can't count on these blessings; today many of them have even fewer. Perhaps today they feel blessed only for being alive. I am doubly blessed to have a job I love doing work that matters — I can help the people of Port au Prince in a small way. I'd like you to join me in this effort.
Please take a moment to consider the blessings in your life, few or many, and imagine how much greater they may be than for someone in Port au Prince this morning. The situation is dire, and these people really need our help. Any gift, large, small, or somewhere in between, is of great worth in reaching out to Haiti.
For more information about the earthquake and our response, visit mercycorps.org/haiti.