Last night I went to hear Rev. Lauren Stanley speak about the relief efforts in Haiti (after catching the end of the Daytona 500, of course, which made me a little late). She is a missionary of the Episcopal Church appointed to serve the the diocese of Haiti and has been asked to remain in the United States, coordinating immediate relief efforts and long-term development through the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Relief and Development.
So basically her boss is the Bishop of Haiti, Jean Zache Duracin (last I heard he was living in a tent). The Episcopal Church of Haiti is running something like 20 refugee camps and caring for more than 20,000 people. Among those are the priests, parishioners, parents and students of the churches and schools with which my own church has had a 20-year partnership.
So Lauren Stanley was giving Twin Cities churches an update on what’s happening on the ground in Haiti. I went to hear what’s happening in Haiti and learn how the money Color4aCause has raised is helping (a tiny, tiny fraction of the money that’s been raised). Lauren had sobering updates, butt-kicking statements and in-depth stories and history to share. She’s a firecracker.
Continue reading Haiti Update from Lauren Stanley →
I came across this picture in a CNN article today that gave the numbers of the tragedy. The stories are always more interesting, like this boy drawing in a makeshift camp at Champ de Mars in Port au Prince. I wonder what his story is.
But he’s drawing a picture.
I wish he knew that kids here in the United States are drawing pictures for him. How cool would it be if we could get his picture for Color4aCause?
I hope you’ll consider making a donation to help kids like this. Color4aCause: Make a donation, get a picture.
As the Haiti earthquake has come and gone I still find myself transfixed by the coverage. Short bursts of 140 characters, video clips, pictures, news articles. As stories come in it’s hard to ignore. And it’s not the bird’s eye view of CNN that’s so engaging, it’s the people I know, the friend of a friend, or the city or village where I know people. I’ve wondered why Haiti is different, different from other tragedies of late. I do think part of it has to do with the spread of social media. But there’s something else.
It hit me last week when I read the story of Aaron Ivey and his adopted son still in Haiti. Aaron blogged about the earthquake:
I remember seeing images of the tsunami that hit southeast Asia in 2004. They were on the news constantly, and I was saddened by the footage of loss and sorrow. But, I didn’t know anyone there. I didn’t have friends, muchless family members that were affected by the tragedy. Everything changes when your friends and family are directly connected to something so tragic. I feel the weight of this Haitian burden in an unexplainable way. For my son, Amos, who slept on a mattress outside last night. For my friends Licia, Lori & Zach who no doubt began stitching wounds in the early hours of sunlight. For my friends Troy & Tara and their beautiful kids, who are anxious and worried about food and fuel supplies to run generators. For all the kids that I’ve held and kissed and played with at Real Hope For Haiti and Heartline. For my Compassion kid, Wonsli, his grandmother, and all ther kids in his project. The list goes on…faces I’ve memorized…names I’ve learned. Real people, because I’ve been there. Not just images or footage this time.
Continue reading Why Haiti Matters: Compassion by Connection →
By Friday morning the flood of stories from Haiti started to get to me and I wanted to help. I’d already donated, but I wanted to do more. So I started thinking of crazy ideas. And I tweeted like mad as I tried to think it through. All while Lexi sat down with crayons and paper.
Tonight we launched Color4aCause.org. Kids color to support relief efforts in Haiti. Make a donation, get a picture. All the proceeds go to my church’s Haiti relief efforts. My church has a partnership with organizations in Haiti going back more than 20 years, so it seemed like a no-brainer to support that relationship.
It’s a crazy idea. But I love it. I love watching my daughter color. I love it when she tells me what she’s drawn. And I love that we can help in such a simple way.
It’s not always easy. I told Lexi about what happened in Haiti and she was concerned for the people who were hurt and was scared that the buildings would keep falling down (once we got past the idea that Haiti was a person). She dove into the coloring but then later got frustrated. She keeps telling me she doesn’t know what to draw or how to draw it, and I keep trying to tell her just to draw—you can’t do it wrong.
When she gets really frustrated she throws up her arms and says “Kids can’t help.” She’s kind of a drama queen. I know she’s having a hard time getting her head around all of this and I’m probably pushing more than I should, but the truth is kids can help. Lexi is helping. It’s her own small way, but she’s helping. She might not get it now, but it doesn’t matter. She’s still helping.
Coloring for a cause. It’s crazy, but sometimes crazy works.