When I heard the news yesterday about the earthquake that brought Haiti to its knees yesterday, it broke my heart. The national palace, churches, the general hospital, homes, schools, and even sides of mountains crumbled. hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and at least a third of the population is in great need of support. Among the dead is the Archbishop of Port au Prince, Msgr. Joseph Serge Miot. This is the worst earthquake in over 200 years.
One of the causes for this tragedy stems from Haiti’s distinction of the most deforested country in the hemisphere. Just days before the earthquake, there had been days of heavy rain that saturated the soil that did not have the benefit of trees to help soak up the water. With the advent of the earthquake, this lead to landslides and erosion. Many homes built on hillsides came crashing down during the quake.
Faith communities are responding. Fritz Gutwein, my former colleague who wrote for this very blog now works for Haiti Reborn, a project of the Quixote Center. They are raising funds for the earthquake disaster and continue to fund their ongoing reforestation project with women religious based in Haiti. You can support their ministry here.
1/15 Update: here are a few more denominations/faith-based organizations that are collecting funds. Please check your faith tradition’s website to learn about what they are doing if not listed in this post.