Michael Reagan: Haiti: A country in need of our help | NevadaAppeal.com

Michael Reagan: Haiti: A country in need of our help

Michael Reagan
Special to the Nevada Appeal

As you have no doubt heard, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti near the capital of Port-Au-Prince on Tuesday afternoon. It was the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti since 1770, and two of its aftershocks were nearly as intense.

Estimates of the death toll have ranged from 100,000 to 500,000, though the damage is too severe to project accurately. One thing is certain: The loss is sure to be astronomical.

The Red Cross estimates that more than 3 million people, a third of Haiti’s population, may need immediate emergency assistance. In the face of such need, the Red Cross has already run out of medical supplies. More are on the way, but no one knows when they will arrive, or how many they will be too late to save.

In response to this devastating natural disaster, President Obama has ordered 1,100 U.S. Marines to provide humanitarian assistance and security.

However, each of us should not simply take solace in the fact that some of our men and women in uniform are being deployed to provide relief – we should all join the rescue effort.

So this week I am going to ask that you help the Haitian recovery effort in some way, whether it is a direct donation or even volunteering to help collect funds for one of the charities listed below. Together, we can help make a difference for a nation where thousands of parents have been separated from their children and will not know for weeks or longer if those children have even survived this tragedy.

Here are a few ways to help this massive rescue/support operation:

• You can make an automatic $10 donation to the Red Cross by texting “HAITI” to 90999. The money will be charged directly to your cell phone bill and will go to an organization that, since its founding in 1881, has been one of the foremost emergency response organizations. http://www.redcross.org.

• Catholic Relief Services, with a track record of rushing humanitarian relief to survivors within hours of man-made and natural disasters around the world, has already pledged $5 million and with our help can facilitate much more. http://www.crs.org.

• Doctors Without Borders provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened. They have already established emergency clinics in Haiti. http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org.

• Samaritan’s Purse, founded by Franklin Graham, is a nondenominational evangelical Christian relief organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. http://www.samaritanspurse.org.

Your assistance may very well help save a life or enable a family to reconnect in the midst of a terrible human tragedy. And tonight, we should all say a prayer for those who lost their lives in this tragedy and those who remain in Haiti fighting for their survival.

• Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation.