Response to Earthquake in Haiti

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Being a camper at Crystal Lake is often the first time that many children are away from home for the first time. It’s a place where many discover a bigger sense of family, and a larger sense of love, that can include people they just met, or spend very little time with.  This sense of a more expansive love exactly is what is needed to help pray for the situation in Haiti. The earthquake disaster in Haiti has been met by an outpouring of support from around the world. The most important thing that we as Christian Scientists can do is to pray for the relief effort. The human picture can be so alarming. We don’t need to get sucked in. Even as we spend our human efforts to help, we can also remember that divine Love is always present, and it’s grace is caring for the people of Haiti, and the relief workers.

From the August 10, 2009 Sentinel, these two articles (“News Alert = Prayer Alert,” by Michelle Nanouche, and “What’s the Real Story?,” by Gloria Goodale) explore the spiritual basis from which to pray about the news, calling on us all to become “instant prayer responders.”

(http://www.spirituality.com/sentinel/article.jhtml?ElementId=/repositories/shcomarticle/Aug2009/1249394256.xml&ElementName=News alert = prayer alert)

(http://www.spirituality.com/sentinel/article.jhtml?ElementId=/repositories/shcomarticle/Aug2009/1249393068.xml&ElementName=What%19s%20the%20real%20story%3F)

If you want to donate, there are many different options, from writing a check, to donating online, to texting in a donation. There are many charities that it can be hard to determine which one will get your dollars. Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org) is a website that rates charities on a scale of one to four stars, based on their organizational efficiency and capacity (or, how well the charity functions day to day, and how well the charity has functioned over time.)  The best charities to donate to are those that have had teams in Haiti for years, such as The Save the Children (https://secure.savethechildren.org/01/web_e_haiti_earthquake_10) and Partners in Health (http://www.standwithhaiti.org/haiti), while ones that have sprung up in the aftermath are probably ones to avoid (while not necessarily outright scams, although that is a possibility, they are likely to be less organized and efficient, thus delivering less bang for your buck.)

Other charities that received four stars from Charity Navigator are

Direct Relief International (http://www.directrelief.org/EmergencyResponse/2010/EarthquakeHaiti.aspx), Food for the Poor (https://secure3.convio.net/ffp/site/Donation2?df_id=6320&6320.donation=form1),

Water Missions International (http://www.watermissions.org),

Hope for Haiti (http://www.hopeforhaiti.com),

International Orthodox Christian Charities (http://www.iocc.org) and

Haitian Health Foundation (http://www.haitianhealthfoundation.org)

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