The Haitian tragedy now ongoing hasn’t even begun to touch the full measure of its scope.
The earthquake was the first calamity.
Now the outside world coming into Haiti with aid is attempting to feed and to give medical care to one of the most impoverished populations in the world.
To do this alone for the next six months to a year, requires a superhuman effort.
Everything following the earthquake is another calamity to deal with. Life, as Haitians have known it, will never be the same. It is destined to be worse.
A nation virtually absent of everything a nation is made up of before the earthquake is now without running water, hospitals and a medical system or housing for 3 million of its nearly 9 million inhabitants.
What to do?
Bostonians have flocked to the Internet to make donations to various charities.
The Catholic Church has set-up a special fund, and the cardinal has said he will be shortly heading to Haiti to give aid and comfort to a people almost bereft of everything they owned in their lives except their faith.
Mayor Thomas Menino and other officials have come together and have identified a range of resources and has organized a team of public and private partners to reach out to the victims of this tragedy in Haiti but to also give support to the nearly 80,000 Haitians who live in Massachusetts – many of them in Greater Boston.
One of those resources is the Boston-based Partners in Health organization.
If you are a health care professional interested in volunteering to go to Haiti, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mayor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness is coordinating with state and federal authorities to make disaster medical assistance teams available to assist Haiti with search and rescue efforts. Urban search and rescue teams from Boston are also at the ready to assist, and the city has offered to lend $1 million in search and rescue equipment to emergency responders in Haiti.
In addition, the mayor has made available crisis counselors for Boston public school children, and on and on.
The Haitian crisis could just as easily be our own if this city and region were rocked by a 7.0 Richter scale earthquake.
In that realization, it is incumbent on all of us to do what we can to relieve the pain and suffering of the Haitian people.
By helping them, we help ourselves and the community of man.