For those of us who living in California, earthquakes are a common occurence. However, thanks to stringent building codes and the fact that we can afford to abide by them, we are prepared, at least for the minor shakes.
Despite that, a 7.0 magnitude shake (equivalent to half a million tons of high explosives) would effect us drastically - Hence you can only imagine what it did to a country like Haiti, where sixty five percent of the population earns less than $2.50USD a day, and lives in flimsy housing.
The earthquake, epicentered about ten miles southwest of Haiti's capital, Port-Au-Prince, rocked the island a few minutes before 5 pm, on Tuesday afternoon. While there were some sketchy reports of the damage, a clear picture was difficult to glean, because most communication from the country was lost for a while.
A clearer picture has now emerged, and as expected, the news is devastating. While accurate estimates are difficult, since a lot of people are still unaccounted for, over 50,000 people are known to have perished. For the people who survived, there is no food, water or shelter. There are reports of thousands of people huddling together in parks, either because they have no place to live or, are too afraid to go home.
However, the worst part is that over 2 million children have been either orphaned or have no contact with their family members and are now wandering around the streets all alone! Even worse is the fact that a lot of these kids get only one meal a day - at school, and with most schools destroyed, they may have nowhere to turn for food!
While we can't really do anything about what has happened, we can all pitch in to help the children and other people to rebuild their lives, no matter how young we are. Here are a few suggestions:
Earn some money by doing some extra chores for your parents, neighbors and friends or setting up a lemonade (or hot chocolate) stand.
Talk to your parents and obtain their support in organizing a neighborhood bake sale
Brainstorm with your teachers and class and see if you can set up a fund-raising effort at your school.
Here is our pledge - Come up with other great ideas on how to raise money to help the people of Haiti by adding your comments below - We will donate $1.00USD for every idea we get in the next two weeks up to a maximum of $200USD - So get going - tell your friends, neighbors and teachers to write in too, and help us reach our goal ASAP. Remember we can all make a difference!