Across the globe, people have generously opened their hearts to help the people of Haiti in their hour of need. The images, stories, and personal accounts of tragedy have moved us to act and to give to the relief efforts.
Haiti, slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Maryland is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The low literacy rate, health problems and poverty are unimaginable to those in wealthier countries. Mission groups, aid workers and those who serve the needy have long known of the needs and put forth efforts to raise awareness and resources to make a difference.
Yet, even the best marketing efforts could not ignite the outpouring of compassion that has resulted from this horrible earthquake that has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives.
The Haitian tragedy illuminates the difficulty faced by charities and non profits on a daily basis. How do you “market” the cause of daily human suffering so that people feel connected, and moved to act and to act not once but over a period of time? How do you hold the interest when so many other things fight for our attention?
In the wake of tragedy, there is a collective consciousness of need helped greatly by media attention. Yet, we know from past tragedies that the cameras will soon turn their attention to other stories, the telethons will end and we will resume business as usual. Much like consoling a friend after the death of a loved one, soon we move on even as the person experiencing the loss continues to grieve.
When Haiti is no longer a top trending topic, its people will still need our help. I challenge us all to to keep Haiti on our radar even as it fades from national attention. Let us not tune out the marketing of human suffering but open our eyes, ears and hearts with ongoing love, prayers and support.
How to Help
Electronic Village: Haiti Earthquake: How Can You Help?