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January 16th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

The Tragedy in Haiti

AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo

AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo

I still cannot get over the devastating images of Haiti that I have been watching on television since a 7.3 earthquake ripped through the capital of Port-au-Prince. Right now, critical life-saving and search-and-rescue operations are underway, and I ask that we all pray that as many lives as possible are spared.

But make no mistake: this is going to be a huge tragedy. Haiti is one of the most underdeveloped countries of the western hemisphere, and there are very few ambulances or even hospitals to take care of the victims. A major death toll is feared. And at least three million other Haitian citizens may be affected, going days without food and water, facing disease and the loss of loved ones.

I am a very proud member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet, and I know very well just what the Red Cross can do in these emergencies. Already, the organization has begun a massive relief effort, contributing an initial $1 million from its International Response Fund to help Haiti. The American Red Cross is also releasing supplies from its warehouse in Panama that will be able to meet the immediate needs of families. Included are tarps, mosquito nets and cooking sets — which are all extremely vital at this very hour.

And there is so much more to be done — all which require money. Please believe me; a small contribution to the Red Cross’ Haitian relief effort can make a difference. So please make whatever donation you can now to the International Response Fund, whether by check, online or by phone.  Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.redcross.org.

Let’s help our stricken friends. Over the last few years, the people of Haiti have endured one hurricane after another. They face years of rebuilding. Your gift will provide immediate relief and long-term support.

Thank you.

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59 Responses to “The Tragedy in Haiti”

  1. vince says:

    plastered all over the news are the church group of people who went over to haiti and tried to take a group of kids the parents claim they gave away for a chance of a better life!!!!, hope that group spends a long time in haitis jails for claming to do in the name of God, maybe the christian thing to have done was to offer the kids parents aswell as the kids a chance for a better life in America, but first be sure America will allow you to do this act in good will, yeah i think the church group is in to trafficing children for adoption to the highest bidder, fry there rears in haiti. we have too many children with out living parents who need a loving family, lets take care of those, morral of this story is { if you are going to do in the name of God, first be sure you have God on ur side}

  2. vince says:

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Ten Americans detained in Haiti for trying to take 33 children out of the country after the earthquake were charged with child kidnapping and criminal association on Thursday, their Haitian lawyer said.

    Edwin Coq said that a judge found sufficient evidence to file charges against the Americans, who were arrested Friday at Haiti’s border with the Dominican Republic. Coq attended Thursday’s hearing and has represented the entire group in Haiti.

    The U.S. citizens, most of them members of an Idaho-based church group, were whisked away from the closed court hearing to jail in Port-au-Prince, the capital. One of them, Laura Silsby, waved and smiled faintly to reporters but declined to answer questions.

    Coq said that under Haiti’s legal system, there won’t be an open trial, but a judge will consider the evidence. It could take the judge three months to render a verdict, Coq said.

    Coq said a Haitian prosecutor told him the Americans were charged because they had the children in their possession. No one from the Haitian government could be reached immediately for comment.

    Each of the kidnapping counts carries a possible sentence of five to 15 years in prison. [ i think these Americans wish they had left the rescue efforts to the Red Cross, and stayed in Idaho to attend services on sundays, why didnt the church just DONATE THE FUNDS IT COST TO SEND THOSE 10 TO HAITI AND LET IT GO AT THAT? would have been a much smarter move on all involved parts.

  3. Kathy Smith says:

    My 15 year old wants to collect shoes. How do we go about sending them to the right place and to make sure they get where they want to be. I feel like my son needs to be involved and he sees and we pray for those in Haiti everytime we pray. Oh what to do….

  4. FullMetalJ says:

    Nicole:

    People are dying here. People are going to die, everywhere, all the time, regardless. That’s nature. How’s this: If your child were starving, would you give the food you had to some person you’d never even met in another country? Or would you give that food to your own child? If your own family were freezing in the middle of winter, would you give up the opportunity for heating to another family you’d never met in some other country? Charity begins at home.

    And quite frankly, I do not care how “socialist” or whatever political label anyone wants to attach to it, our people ought to be our priority. Besides, who’s going to come running to these countries aid when our own economy fails and none of our citizens have any more money to give? What countries will help us? Who would come to our rescue? I’d genuinely like to know. But hey, by that time China will fully own America so I guess the Reds really are coming…*chuckle*

  5. vince says:

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The ten Baptist missionaries charged with trying to spirit 33 children out of Haiti are back in jail after a judge refused to release them pending the outcome of their case.

    Their lawyer says three more days of hearings are scheduled next week, starting Monday. He says it’s “scandalous” they’re being detained.

    In Idaho, where most of the missionaries are from, Pastor Clint Henry of Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian urged Haiti to quickly free the group. Three national leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to do everything he can to get them home.

    The U.S. government appears to be approaching the incident carefully. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton calls the case ” a matter for the Haitian judicial system.” { the children they were trying to take all had living parents, its sad to say but im happy they got caught, God would not approve there actions i dont think, i feel in my heart the christian thing to have done would have been to help the childrens FAMILY TO STAY TOGATHER, NOT BREAK THEM APART, what do you think went through those kids minds being taken away from family and only knowing they were given away like a damn stuffed toy, shame on the baptist, i denounce that religion after seeing what the baptist do with the money taken in to there churches, kidnapping kids in the midst of a tragedy is so uncool and unchristianly, and you cant tell me any of the 10 had no idea that they were doing wrong!!! they all came from america and know the laws governing children and child safety, if people went to those same baptist here in america and gave them there kids what do you think the churches would do? ill tell ya they would call the cops on ur ass and have you arrested! yup there guilty as charged in my eyes what about yours?

  6. George Sibley MD says:

    The tragady in Haiti is hard to comprehend, however one thing is obvious from all the reporting that I have seen. Even with all the aid that has been pouring in from aound the world, this ongoing disaster could get much worse. With no viable infrastructure (electricity, fresh water or shelter), what will happen if a hurricane or two to rolls across the country this summer? It is going to take years to rebuild the country to a point that it is safely habital.

    I really feel that it would be preferable to make plans to evacuate the remaining Haitians to other countries where their needs can be met during the years it is going to take to rebuild their country. Aid could be provided much more easily in developed countries and at less cost and inconveience. When Dr. Travis Stork talked about the need for crutches, wheelchairs and prosthetics, he made a great point, but how can things like those be used in such devastation? The world needs to focus on the long term outcome of this disaster, rather than just short term needs.

  7. ziggyzepplin says:

    It is devistating what happend in Haiti.When things in life happen that are beyond our control or comprehension,Faith and prayer are desperatley needed, aswell as physical help, supplies, and so fourth.I think that the people of Haiti have all suffered major losses, even happenings like hiroshima and nagasaki, world trade centre, genocide, and again like the tsunami,it is a major disaster, and i dont wish it apon any one, but i think the world and people change in the wake of disaster, people in Haiti where there before and they are not exactly the richest place, but did any one notice or make an effort to better there lives before this happend.This is not the first or the last disaster to hit our planet or the last, if the leaders of our world would just stop and form a unified leadership and work together, wich i dought will be, things could be diffrent in the wake of disaster.If it took this tragedy to better the future of haiti, then so be it.And i wish it hadnt happend but it did.one cannot question, its now up to us and the rest of the world to help, and when the next tragedy strikes, then it will be.I think the leaders of the world should set up a relief team with people from every country. and have medical supplies and food already stored so when the next disaster strikes, the same day it happens the worldl relief team will go, ready with supplies and all.Each government should put money in a fund each year, a world disaster fund, so when it happens again, and it will. we aill be prepared.

  8. neinka lando says:

    dr. phil I think the fact the there are so many people out of work. Talking about most of the ones on the systom. The problem is they all have as I do this sigma if you will atached to them from years on the systom and everybody seeing them on it. With little or no education and I.Q.s as low as 90 witch meas learned knowledge. No one will hire them because of it. In the end you can dress up a haunted house all you want but untill you rid it of the evil killing it, its a haunted house period!! Now hear this. Unlike all the people working that lost there homes/appartments all the ones earnning $25000 to $ a year11000 are never ever going to have credit again. In order to get the 2 $trillion and the trillions of dollars in doth lost business closers and bankrupsies back they will need to change for good. That hasn’t hit them all yet. We had a good run now it biogenic living again.

  9. joan says:

    It a terrible thing that happened. I can not amagine all the dead bodies being picked up by a dump truck & all buried together. How sad. At the same time the US can not keep footing the bill for every disaster that happens. It’s my opinon that we did a very poor job helping New Orleans. With so much unemployment & people losing their homes & the government taking us deeper into debt – is unreal. Do you really think any country would be helping us with a big diaster here at home. Look at France who our soldiers died for, even buried over there, I doubt we would get any help from them. Let’s start at home first & get this country back to what it used to be. I’ve been around quite sometime & even the good old days were better than now. Look at Chile, South America is a huge country they should be able to take care of Chile & not the outside world. When the big one hits California, will we be able to handle the diaster? I could go on all day – wake up & do something. The government needs to real do a better job ………………

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