The tragic earthquake on Aug. 14, 2021 left the southern peninsula of Haiti shattered and broken – but that was only the beginning. As of today, some 2,200 people have lost their lives, tens of thousands remain injured and political unrest and gang violence render their country inhospitable, forcing many to leave and emigrate to other regions – much like Texas.
Having worked full-time in Haiti for the past eight years and experiencing firsthand the inner turmoil and challenges that plague the small country – I know the nation is in dire need of aid. Opportunities to support Haiti are needed now more than ever. If you are wondering the best ways to bring relief to Haiti, I’ve got a few suggestions for you.
1. Donate to reputable nonprofit organizations working full-time in Haiti
Organizations that have been working full-time in Haiti for years will be more effective than those that arrive for short-term disaster relief since they speak the language, know the culture and have extensive connections within the country.
When discerning if an organization is reputable, make sure to look for ones that have external audits. These organizations have gone the extra step to ensure that their finances are above board and are worthy of your donation. Also, search for top-notch ratings from nonprofit-rating agencies such as Guidestar, ECFA and Charity Navigator. These rating agencies put the nonprofits through vigorous assessments to ensure their integrity and validity.
2. Organize supply drives to gather needed supplies
Check with nonprofits that have initiatives launched and are working amidst the earthquake relief and see what they currently need. Be aware that getting supplies into Haiti is very difficult right now because of the ongoing gang violence and aftermath of the earthquake. As the event of the earthquake becomes further in the past, circumstances are changing in Haiti and while support is still needed, the nation may best benefit from alternate forms of relief. Make sure to communicate with on-site contacts for what supplies will bring the most relief.
3. Avoid traveling to Haiti
Haiti is a very dangerous place. The government is in disarray after Parliament was disbanded and President Moïse was assassinated in July of 2021. Gangs rule the streets and kidnappings and murders are at an all-time high. Even if you have a heart for serving people firsthand, I would not recommend directly going to Haiti but instead find ways you can support from home and contact organizations based in America.
4. Contact your Congressmen to make sure that the U.S. government is assisting Haiti in its time of need
An effective way to make a difference in Haiti is to get in contact with your local Congressman or Congresswoman. Oftentimes, people forget that the U.S. may already be taking steps forward or have connections with Haiti that the average person does not. Representatives are able to be found by simply looking up your zip code and seeing who leads your specific congressional district.
5. Pray for Haiti
The people of Haiti need prayers now more than ever. Prayer is powerful and can be done in any place at any time. Continually pray for the nation, not only in regards to the earthquake, but also for the current violence, unrest and people having to flee the country, whose lives are at risk. The needs are overwhelming and their country is suffering terribly.
If you are looking for an organization to support, please consider LiveBeyond. We opened our government-approved hospital to receive patients injured immediately following the devastating earthquake. Our facility has full-time electricity, clean water, a helicopter landing zone and trained medical personnel to handle all injuries and accidents that are a result from the gang violence, civil unrest in the area and the resounding injured from the earthquake back in August. We have extensive experience providing emergency healthcare, initiating aid following the historically-devastating 2010 earthquake and continuing through the country’s modern-day crises, such as the current violence and civil unrest, in the region of Thomazeau, Haiti. We are working closely with the Haitian government to coordinate this effort. We have immediate needs for supplies and equipment to meet this increased demand, and would greatly appreciate any donations to help take care of Haitians in this time of need.
Dr. David Vanderpool is the Chief Executive Officer of LiveBeyond. LiveBeyond is a faith-based humanitarian organization bringing medical and maternal health care, clean water, education, community development and the gospel of Jesus Christ to the oppressed in Thomazeau, Haiti. LiveBeyond purchased 63 acres in this region outside of Port-au-Prince. The LiveBeyond compound consists of the Hamilton Guest House, a medical clinic, worship center and a school.