Like everyone, I have been deeply moved by the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. The images are searing, especially of the children, torn from their parents, many in physical pain, hungry, homeless, without their toys and possessions of comfort, too traumatized now to even think about a future.
The tragedy has hit me hard.
Back in 1994, I traveled to Haiti while working at UNICEF U.S.A. as Director of Public Relations. I spent ample time visiting the slums of Port-au-Prince and even met with Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide at the National Palace, now lying in rubble. The squalid conditions were horrific to me then, now it’s unimaginable.
Part of me wants to adopt a Haitian baby, to which my daughter, Rebecca, says, “Mom, I think we have enough kids in our house now.” She’s right, of course, and, in spite of my incredible longing to help, we are not equipped to parent more children. Part of me wants to go volunteer in Haiti for two months, to which my conscience asks, “but how can you leave your family?” The answer is I can’t. I simply can’t.
What is it then that I can offer in the wake of this giant tragedy? What is it that anyone can offer?
Money? Time? Hands? Faith? There are no easy answers.