I suspect that now that the events in Haiti have faded from the news headlines, many have forgotten or minimized what really happened in that place and simply moved on with their lives. Well, we should not all be so quick to forget. Nearly 250,000 men, women, and children died in the earthquake that struck the Caribbean island at 4:53 p.m. on January 12, 2010. Many were killed in an instant when one of the 300,000 structures that collapsed that day fell in on them. Many tens of thousands died long suffering deaths trapped in rubble. There was too much confusion, too much panic, too little infrastructure, and too little time to reach them. I know that many of my Christian brothers and sisters prayed during those early days, but the devastation and tragedy were simply of too big a scale for any of us to truly comprehend. I know that I wanted to do something to help, but had no idea how little me could in any way assist a nation some 1,300 miles away. What was worse, I really did not know what to pray for. The damage was done, the souls were gone, the place was devastated beyond recognition. I could pray for peace for the surviving people, I could pray that those in need of medical care might find the relief and healing that they need, I could pray that international aid might arrive in time to make an impact in improving the situation. I wanted to help, but had no idea where to start.
My church found a way for me to help. They are supporting an initiative called Buckets of Hope. It is a way for the small contributions of individuals to help make a bigger impact. To make our collective contributions more than the sum of our individual inputs. Fill one bucket with staples (rice, oil, beans, flour, sugar, pasta, peanut butter) and send it to Haiti. One such bucket can feed a Haitian family for a week. It might even give them a little relief, a little hope, a little peace, at least for a time.