Monday, April 12 marks the 3 month mark from the life changing earthquake in Haiti. Remember the earthquake? Life has gone on for most of us. Life goes on in Haiti, also. But it goes on differently; in some ways, less than before. There are still millions of people who are homeless. There are still orphans who need love and caring. There are still people who are unemployed and unable to put food on the table for their families. Yet as life goes on the people of Port-au-Prince are surrounded by rubble, destruction, death and missing family members. Remember Haiti? Haiti needs us now more than ever.
So much needs to be done; where do you start? You start where you are and help who you can. I have come across a blog called Culture and Sensitivity in the days since the earthquake. The blog is written by a man named Steve Edmondson who made trips to Haiti before the earthquake to help out. Since the earthquake he has stepped up his efforts. When he realized the people needed tarps to help cover their camps during the rainy season he put out a request on his blog for help and the response was amazing.
Despite all that Steve does he felt the need to do more. In a recent post he wrote of The Story of the Star Thrower. You may have heard this story.
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, so he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean.” “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
As if he hadn’t heard, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he turned, smiled and said, “Yes, but I just made a big difference to that one!”
Steve has decided to do something more. He has decided to start picking up starfish and throwing them into the ocean. Steve has been touched by the people of Haiti and he has in the last few months set in motion the creation of an organization to offer “Compassion. Dignity. Hope….one life at a time.” This tag line for his organization says it all. More information will be coming about the organization details and a few of their first projects. I am in awe of Steve’s efforts and am humbled by his story.
I encourage you to visit Steve’s web site and read about his time in Haiti. He brings the stories of the people to light and shows the need as well as the hope that is found in Haiti. He is making changes, one Haitian at a time.