Last year about this time, my husband and I were on a cruise to the Caribbean to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We spent a day at a resort on the north coast of Haiti; called Labadee, the place is owned by the cruise company and designed to ensure that no one thinks about life's unpleasantness. The lucky islanders engaged to work inside the compound, selling their wares and putting on a jolly face for the weathy visitors, play their roles well. (Anyone who arrives in Haiti on a cruise ship is, by definition, unimaginably rich by the standards of the country.)
I've seen faces of the poor before, but this was something different. Every Haitian I met was emaciated--a few thousand calories from starvation. Their smiles were tinged with desperation, and they had a look in their eyes I can't forget--couldn't forget, even before the disaster unfolding in that country today. There was agony in their eyes. I couldn't help but wonder how many relatives some of those people tried to support on their meager daily earnings from selling straw hats and cheap, homemade jewelry.
Technology makes so many things simple, including giving. I urge you to text the word "Haiti" to 90999, which will automatically send a $10 donation to the Red Cross. I just did it, and it couldn't be easier. You'll barely register the ten bucks on your next phone bill. But it will help aid workers and volunteers on the ground, who up to their elbows in blood and dust, bring what mercy they can to the suffering.