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My thoughts and prayers are still with Haiti

And they will forever be.

As you know, on Jan 12th an earthquake devastated Haiti. It happened on a Tuesday. My first knowledge of it came via Twitter from a woman, whose husband was visiting the country at the time, asking if it was true. Hours later I get home, turn on my TV and realize how serious the situation was.

On that Wednesday there was the expected outpour of concern for the needs of the Haitians and a mad rush to do any and everything possible (from most people at least... I will not discuss the lack of compassion I've also witnessed). Out of the madness quickly came both valuable information as well as misinformation. This included everything from 1st hand accounts via Twitter of the situation on the ground to false rumors about companies like UPS offering free shipping for items under 50lbs.

This situation brought on a whole range of emotions for me:

Sadness. For those who were (and still may be) hanging on to life, with hope of rescue. For the victims. For the families of victims. For the rescue workers. And for the women and children, who are most vulnerable in times like this.

Helpless and Powerless. Because sending that donation text doesn't pull someone out of the rubble that day. Because crying doesn't ease the anxiety they feel as another after-shock hits and everyone runs outside into the night. Because sending a second text doesn't immediately feed anybody as the hunger becomes unbearable. Because crying from the pain I feel doesn't alleviate theirs.

And last, but not least, Shame. For myself. For not knowing enough about Haiti prior to Jan 12th. For knowing of its story of independence and about the hunger and poverty to some degree, yet not understanding the richness of its history.

So what happens next? I remain committed to the people of Haiti. As the news networks continue to show fewer and fewer clips/photos, I will still be praying. I will still be supporting the rebuilding efforts in any way I can. And most importantly, I will still be educating myself and others about the country and its people. That's the promise I'm making.

Here are some links I used to get started:
-History of Haiti
-The Myth of Haiti’s Lawless Streets
-Haiti’s Debt
-Haiti – the Politics of Rice
-Haiti's revolt inspired U.S. black activists
-US Policy in Haiti Over Decades
-Our Role in Haiti’s Plight
-Haiti's Tragic History Is Entwined with the Story of America
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How to Help Haiti

This information is copied and pasted from a Homeland Security email. Please share.

“…Let me just say that this is a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share. With just a few hundred miles of ocean between us and a long history that binds us together, Haitians are neighbors of the Americas and here at home. So we have to be there for them in their hour of need…Despite the fact that we are experiencing tough times here at home, I would encourage those Americans who want to support the urgent humanitarian efforts to go to whitehouse.gov where you can learn how to contribute."

President Barack H. Obama
Remarks by the President on Rescue Efforts in Haiti
January 13, 2010


Greeting Colleagues:

Thank you for the display of compassion and generosity toward the Haitian people and know this will be instrumental in continuing to help during this disaster. If you are looking for way to help, the most effective way to support the individuals and families of Haiti is through cash donations and support in locating family members.

LOCATING FAMILY MEMBERS:
The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747.

DONATIONS:
Cash donations allow for voluntary organizations to quickly pay for response and recovery efforts, and quickly provide direct financial assistance to disaster survivors to meet their own needs. Those interested in making contributions to help the victims in Haiti can do the following:

1. You can go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/ for additional information regarding help for Haiti and Watch the President's remarks this morning below, or read the transcript

2. For those looking for additional opportunities to donate to organizations involved in recovery efforts in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that struck near Port au Prince on Jan 12, 2010, you may contact the Center for International Disaster Information. The Center, operated under a grant from the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and initial support from IBM, has become a valuable resource to the public, as well as US government agencies, foreign embassies and international corporations. CIDI has established a dedicated page to coordinate Haiti support at: http://www.cidi.org/incident/haiti-10a/

3. For those interested in learning more about how best to donate or provide assistance in Haiti click here. You can also go to http://www.fema.gov/ for more information

4. Additionally, interested donors can visit www.interaction.org to obtain a list of credible responding agencies for international emergencies and www.give.org to get valuable information on making informed decisions when supporting charities. In addition, donors can visit http://www.globalgiving.org

We leave you with these words from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano:

"The entire Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extends its sympathy for the devastation and loss of life in Haiti following last night's earthquake--a disaster that has called the world to action in response…I encourage the American people to donate what funds they can afford to disaster relief organizations such as the American Red Cross to allow these voluntary groups to provide goods and services to disaster survivors as quickly as possible." January 13, 2010
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My Vision Board for 2010

Yay! It's 2010. A new year. A new start. The beginning of a fabulous journey. Can you feel my excitement.

Well, in order to start the year right, I kicked it off by creating my vision board. A vision board is basically a collage of words and images that motivate you to achieve your goals. It is meant to be inspirational. Something you look at everyday to get you moving closer toward your dreams.

Well this is mine. I must say there is only one real goal that I have for myself in 2010. ((It's something that I will get more into as the year progresses!)) Everything else is inpiration, motivation, and empowerment. What better way to ensure that 2010 is a great year?!
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Listening to..

Today's an E. Badu kinda day, and I realize that this must be my favorite CD cover of all time. Well, the Trey Songz Ready album is in close running - but for ENTIRELY different reasons. You feel me?
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