From Ecclesia Board Member, JR Woodward…
We have all been touched by the tragedy in Haiti and most of us feel drawn to be of help somehow. But what is the best way to help in this situation? Michelle Singletary in an article for the Washington Post says Haiti earthquake brings out generosity, and scam artists. So true. Which is why it is good to be networked with my friend Bruce Hopler who pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Columbia, Maryland. Bruce and his congregation have been working in the Dominican Republic for many years. The congregation Bruce serves is a part of the Ecclesia Network and their organization, the Del Comino Connection, is in a unique position (sharing the island with Haiti) to help people in Haiti in wise ways.
I received an email from Bruce on Friday on how Dominican Republic organizations, in an effort facilitated by Esperanze Intl. and including Compassion International, Food for the Hungry, World Vision, Healing Waters and the Red del Camino Network churches developed a two phase action plan.
Here is what his partners in Dominican Republic wrote him:
Phase one involves funneling locally purchased relief supplies through churches, ministry partners and community-based organizations connected to the coalition in Haiti. The immediate request from our partners is cash donations so that we can purchase supplies in Dominican cities along the border with Haiti. From previous experience, we have learned that containers sent from abroad take up precious time in transport, customs processing, and transport to the emergency site.
Phase two of the plan will draw from the assessment and mapping currently happening in Haiti. Once emergency processes are met and condition are stablized, we will be requesting in-kind contributions.
Please go to their site to download a pdf file with more details as well as giving donations to the Haiti Disaster Relief Fund, knowing that it is going to meet needs wisely.