The numbers are incomprehensible — 50,000, 100,000, half a million. Perhaps we’ll never know — never have the accurate accounting of the unspeakable loss mother Haiti has suffered at the hands of a massive earthquake that shook the small, impoverished Caribbean country to its core.
There are small glimmers of hope — a church group lost and then found, a missionary and child advocate pulled from the rubble of the orphanage where she taught and inspired.
I try to hold on to those shiny pieces — need to. But the dark cloud of death hangs low and thick over the light, billowing over and under and all through mother Haiti. Mothers and fathers are burying their children. Aunties and uncles and cousins and neighbors are digging through the rubble, desperate for life to rise up from the ashes.
And all I can think about is the babies. The ones who lost all they had and knew and loved — in the quiet moment between one quick second, and then the next. My heart is absolutely shattered. Because as a mom, I know what I mean to my babies. The pain of loss the children of Haiti are suffering is visceral. Searing. Late at night, when those babies are on my mind, I can hear them crying out. And my heart breaks all over again.
To read the rest of my Parenting.com blog post on Haiti's babies, CLICK HERE.
I also wanted to call special attention to three organizations that are—and long have been—helping the children of Haiti. My hope is that as you consider donating money, goods, and services to help the victims of this disaster, you remember these groups, which have long been on the ground—in the thick of it—digging in, making a difference, and saving lives. I encourage you to do what you can to help them.
The Clermont Center for Homeless Adolescents
Opened in March of 2003, this Jacmel, Haiti-based orphanage (as seen in the picture above before the earthquake) is run by the mother of writer/blogger Rose-Ann Clermont of Currents Between Shores. Rose-Ann wrote on her blog last week that the children and staff at The Clermont Center escaped the earthquake uninjured, but the building suffered substantial damage and they are fast running out of food and water. The center needs donations to feed and house its current roster of children as well as the many more that are sure to come; donations will also be used to rebuild the orphanage. To donate to The Clermont Center for Homeless Adolescents, CLICK HERE.
God's Littlest Angels
My blog friend Stacey of IsThereAnyMommyOutThere wrote passionately last week about God's Littlest Angels, an organization that, since 1994, has provided intensive nursery care for premature, malnourished and abandoned children, and assisted in placing abandoned children with adoptive families. God's Littlest Angels is collecting cash as well as supplies (diapers, baby wipes, baby cereal, infant tylenol, infant and children's vitamins, and baby care items such as lotion, powder, baby shampoo) at its Colorado-based offices and shipping them to Haiti. To help God's Littlest Angels, CLICK HERE.
The Bresma Orphanage
Jamie McMurtrie and Ali McMutrie, sisters from Pittsburgh who run an orphanage in Port au Prince, were hunkered down in the front lawn of their property with 150 children—25 who were ready for U.S. adoption before the earthquake destroyed government buildings housing critical information the kids needed to make it to their adoptive families. Food and water was scarce, and the sisters were pleading with U.S. officials to arrange transportation for them and all the children to America so that they can be connected with their adoptive families. There's been a pretty active social media campaign about the plight of Bresma (to see the #Bresma thread on Twitter, CLICK HERE; to visit the group's Facebook page, CLICK HERE), and at last check, a local congressman had arranged for a plane full of medical professionals and supplies to head to Port Au Prince to pick up the sisters and 61 children. Great news: They made it back to Pittsburgh. But make no mistake about it: Those children are still in desperate need of help now that they're here in the states; they need food, clothing, care, and places to lay their tiny heads. To donate to The Bresma Orphanage, .
Thanks for all that you do; with your help, we can all make some kind of difference for the children of Haiti.