It's the term one of my dear readers used today.
It happens with big disasters like the earthquakes in Haiti. We are shocked and horrified and want to instantly do something. So we stayed glued to the tv for a couple of days. We watch the pictures and cry and grab our checkbooks.
And that's not a bad thing.
Thousands of individuals, groups, etsy shops, etc., are raising money for Haiti relief. Very, very good people doing a very, very good thing. Almost all of this money is going to big organizations like Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, etc. Very, very, good organizations doing extremely important work in Haiti. They are healing the wounded, feeding the hungry and giving clean water to the thirsty (something they didn't even have before the quake). Although I've read that a couple of the big organizations are now asking that your donations go to their general fund instead of specifically to Haiti.
But what happens next?
How long do these people stand in line waiting for their hand-out? Days? Weeks? Indefinitely?
I just want us to be careful. Isn't the answer to help these people become independent of hand-outs? Don't we want them to not need the donations at some point?
I have so much on my heart and mind for the women in Despinos. So much I feel they can be doing to build their independence, to provide for themselves, to be an example to their children who will be in their shoes someday.
Dear friends, we cannot clean away the rubble, rebuild their homes, feed their children for them. They have to, they want to, do it for themselves. We can stand beside them, show them the way, offer a hand when they're struggling...but as long as we are doing everything for them, they are dependent on us.
And they will eventually resent us for that. They will.
Haiti by Hand wants to empower these women with foundational funds, supplies and skills to earn their own living. To not have to give up their children because they can't afford to feed them. To square their shoulders, hold their chins up and walk boldly into their futures.
We have business seminars planned, start-up ideas for entreprenuers, seed money for beginning businesses, financial guidance help. All in the works for these women. All things we had planned anyway, before the quakes.
We cannot let them down now just because the words "Haiti" and "help" are making us yawn.
As of 15 minutes ago, Haiti by Hand is now on Facebook! Help spread the word!