We have been watching the terrible devastation in Haiti on the news since last night. As the situation unfolds, we find that it is more grim that we could have imagined. Both the Presiding Bishop and Bishop Paul have communicated to Episcopalians about how we can help. Here is what they said:
Bishop Paul wrote to the clergy of the diocese:
"You do not need me to remind you of the importance of praying and acting in the wake of the Haitian earthquake, but I offer a few notes."The PB has said: "The people of Haiti have suffered a devastating earthquake, and it is already clear that many have died and many more are injured. Even under “normal” circumstances, Haiti struggles to care for her 9 million people. The nation is the poorest in the western hemisphere, and this latest disaster will set back many recent efforts at development. I urge your prayers for those who have died, been injured, and are searching for loved ones – and I urge your concrete and immediate prayers in the form of contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development, who are already working with the Diocese of Haiti to send aid where it is most needed."
"Haiti is the largest diocese in the Episcopal Church. Many of our sisters and brothers are suffering."
You can donate directly to Episcopal Relief and Development by credit card, as it gets funds moving quickly. This can be done at www.er-d.org. This is incredibly easy to do this on-line, as I discovered this afternoon.
Jack Moulton, our Diocesan ERD representative says:
"Over 92% to 96% of each dollar given to ERD goes directly to the program be it for disaster relief or for development. ERD has the highest efficiency rating of all of the Global Relief and Development agencies that is in Haiti as of this moment assisting in the disaster relief effort. They have a reputation of being one of the first Global Agencies to respond to the disaster and they will be one of the last to leave. They are working through the Diocese of Haiti so ERD's efforts are very local in nature directly helping the people there addressing their greatest needs.So on a "bang-for-the-buck" basis, I urge you to use this vehicle to offer assistance.
"It is comforting to note that ERD is our Global Agency as they are a branch of our National Church. Please prayfully consider helping ERD in its very important ministry in Haiti by making a donation to ERD. It is through ERD that each of us can be most effective in directly helping the relief efforts in Haiti to ease the suffering there and else where in the world."
Keep the people of Haiti in your prayers.