It is difficult to know how to respond to the devastation and tragic loss of life that has just occurred in the capital city of Haiti. It is hard to comprehend such desperate situations especially when they take place at some distance removed from us but it occurred to us that we in the AUSB community have a direct link to a major relief organization that is right here in town and is already involved in earthquake relief.
Direct Relief International is one of the premier relief agencies in the world. It is located right here in Santa Barbara and one of the members of the AUSB Board of Trustees is Thomas Tighe, the President and CEO of DRI.
The earthquake in Haiti has caused a staggering human tragedy. Even before the quake, the depth and breadth of poverty, disease burden, and a variety of other circumstances combined to make a very difficult environment for Haitians.
Direct Relief International has been working to support basic healthcare efforts at individual clinics and hospitals in Haiti for many years. We work in partnership with great organizations, including Partners in Health, who have been in touch with us and relaying both information and requests for specific medical material needs, which we’ve already begun addressing.
Because we have had ongoing efforts with these facilities and groups – all of which are thankfully functioning after the event – our efforts now involve a rapid expansion of our program to supply medicines and medical supplies so they can care for the victims.
We will keep our website updated as new information arrives and explaining our activities and plans. It’s hard to see any bright spot in the face of such a widespread loss of life. But if there is one, it has been the genuine expression of concern and generosity that the tragedy has sparked, such as the kind note from Antioch and its wonderful community.
Check out their website – www.directrelief.org – to see how they are already involved in earthquake relief for the people of Haiti and please consider supporting their work financially and/or volunteering at DRI. Direct Relief has a 99% efficiency rating so any help you provide gets directly to those who need it. The people of Haiti need our help and this is one way the Antioch community can be involved.
Marianne D’Emidio-Caston & Dick Morrow & Shara Keller for the Antioch University Santa Barbara community.