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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Devastation In Haiti: What Can We Do???

I'm sure by now most of you have heard of the terrible earthquake catastrophe that occurred in Haiti. It tears me apart to watch it and read about it on the news. Haiti is a Fifth World Country. As if they didn't already have enough struggle, sickness, troubles, and they have to deal with this devastation on top of everything else.

My heart is broken into a million pieces for these people. It's hard for me to not lose hope in these kind of situations. It's such a huge mountain to face. The problem is so massive, how can we even know where to begin in helping out? I think the only answer is for us to each individually do everything we can. I take the "Love your neighbor" command quite seriously. Haiti is just as much our neighbor as the person next door. We are to love all, fight for justice, defend the poor, and bring Jesus to the people who need it most...

Often times, people ask, "Where is God in all of this?"...but honestly, I think one day God will ask us, "Where were you in all of this?" God put us on this earth for a reason, to be used by Him. In this world, we are ambassador's of His love. I might have questions, and it might shake my faith quite a bit when something like this happens...but I also know that I'm not going to just stand by and watch it happen, do nothing about it, and blame God.

Not only can couponing enable us to donate items we get for free and help others in need, but it also allows us to give in the sense that it frees up a little bit of money that we would have spent on groceries to spend in other places. I know some of you are just struggling to pay the bills. Trust me, we're in the same situation. I don't coupon so that I can put money away or save it. I coupon so that we can buy food and eat. But I also think that we should always give as much as we can. Even if we think we don't have anything and we're struggling, people in other countries, specifically Haiti in this case, have it much worse off.

If your heart aches for the people of Haiti, and you'd like to help out, I thought I would offer a few suggestions/ideas:

1. PRAY. If you have nothing to give financially, you can always do this. Prayer is miraculous. It's so important that we pray for their safety, families, healing, emotional stability, health, and so much more.

2. Give to the World Vision Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. I love World Vision. The money goes where it is supposed to. They have teams stationed all over the world, helping with day-to-day poverty, as well as crises, and emergency response teams when catastrophes like this happen. Right now, World Vision's team is there helping in tangible, real ways. Giving to this Fund will help them accomplish as much as possible.

3. If you wanted to go a step further, you could always sponsor a child from Haiti through World Vision or other similar organizations. It is such a joy to financially help a child in need as they grow up. You can write letters to them, and receive progress reports and pictures throughout the years.

4. There is a great list HERE of other organizations helping out with Disaster Relief in Haiti right now. I'm sure any donation to one or many of these would help tremendously.

5. I went to Publix tonight, and there was a little sign about donating for Haiti. You can simply add a couple dollars to your bill. To me, this fits right in with couponing and budgeting. Simply put one or two items back that you don't need at your next grocery trip, and donate that money for Haiti. What a great idea, and really easy way to help.

It's hard when we're so far away. It almost doesn't seem real. Most of us can't just drop our lives and head down there to help, as much as we wish we could. Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you if you've been burdened by this and wish to help in some way. And remember, no gift is too small when it comes from the heart and is the best you have to give...

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