A few hundred feet over my head the planes keep coming--all day and all night. They're cargo planes arriving from Haiti and so far they've brought more than 8,000 people to Orlando--orphans, injured, and more.
My first thought when the earthquake hit was "child trafficking." Haiti has always had a huge problem, and when disaster strikes, the traffickers flock to the rubble for easy pickings.
That's why I personally have supported 2 organizations that are getting kids off the streets and into safe houses.
These are not high-profile organizations that get the big bucks from telethons or Hollywood celebs. They're just laboring away doing good work without a lot of attention or fanfare--and are very effective at it.
If you're looking for places to give, I highly recommend these 2:Danita's Children
Danita has long had a presence in Haiti, where she set up an orphanage that until January housed 75 orphans. It was not damaged by the earthquake, thankfully, and has since been taking in many more kids and getting them off the streets.
Danita can use your support and I can attest that her organization is a good one to invest in.International Crisis Aid
I've known ICA founder Pat Bradley for 12+ years and wrote about him in my post called Begging. As soon as the earthquake hit, Pat was on a plane and has been there ever since.
His small team has single-handedly repaired a totally destroyed orphanage and got it going again. They're working with the US Marines, who wrote this to Pat:
Your ability to locate the people in need and get them the supplies they so desperately needed has been nothing short of remarkable. The partnership that our Marine unit [has] formed with ICA has become the blueprint for success in this devastated region.
Our ability to bring the resources ashore and provide the necessary security, coupled with your complete devotion to an efficient, honest and timely distribution has saved thousands of lives and will positively shape and influence generations in Haiti.
I would be remiss if I didn't beg ICA to remain in Haiti for the foreseeable future and continue to set the example for the other NGOs.
You can read the full letter from the Marine sergeant on ICA's blog--where you can also donate. Follow ICA on Twitter @crisisaid and get Pat's real-time updates. Here's a story that NPR did about ICA this afternoon.
Whether kids are orphaned or not, whether they get adopted or not--the critical and immediate need is to get them off the streets and away from the hands of traffickers. Thank you for helping these 2 organizations do that.