January 19, 2010

MedShare and GO Inspire GO Urges YOU to ACT NOW!

UPDATE: Another aftershock 6.1 hit Haiti today. Amazingly, rescue efforts are continuing and people are still being pulled out of the rubble alive!
Please read and take action!

It’s been just over a week since the 7.0 earthquake rocked the poor island nation of Haiti to its core. As I write, family, friends and strangers carry lifeless bodies to cemeteries where other piles of flesh and bones pile up. There is simply not enough room to bury the dead. On the streets, countless victims bear open wounds. Apocalyptic images and sounds plaster our TV sets and computer screens -- the desperate need for food, water, shelter and proper medical care remain.

It's numbing and amazing to me that some reports
out of Haiti's ground zero -- are stories of hope. I saw an ABC news report about how Haitian communities are banding together to help each other, when they have nothing of their own. One by one, victims are removing blocks of rubble and digging out their loved ones and even strangers from crumbled buildings. Others are using twine and cardboard as makeshift splints to bandage those with broken limbs.

Search and rescue efforts continue... and some communities have nothing to hold onto but their will and songs of hope that are overpowered by the cries of desperation.

I look around my community here in the San Francisco Bay Area and juxtapose the images -- that have been plaguing my mind since the horrific quake -- with the people, thousands of miles away that are moved to act. As the body count continues to rise in Haiti -- it's comforting to know that people at the local non-profit, MedShare.org, are counting surplus supplies that are being packaged and drop-shipped to Haiti.

It is not too late to take action everybody, WE MUST ALL DO SOMETHING NOW to help the people in Haiti. Following the quake, the team at Go Inspire Go immediately sent emails to our community, urging everyone in our global nexus to act – in whatever way they could – by donating money or time to help the people in Haiti who have no shelter, no food, water and proper medical care. I asked everyone to email/comment about how they’re helping the people in Haiti on our GoInspireGo Blog and our Huffington Post Blog. The hope – to inspire people by your actions – to act.

Some of you responded and donated right away to the Red Cross by texting Haiti to 90999 on your cell phones, while others shared links and donated to other reputable companies who will match our donation dollar for dollar.
Several people emailed and commented telling us about MedShare.Org – a non-profit out of Decatur, Georgia and San Leandro, California. For 11 years, MedShare has been collecting sorting and shipping surplus medical supplies from hospitals (supplies that would’ve otherwise ended up in the garbage) to more than 80 countries. MedShare already had a shipment en route to a hospital in Haiti before the earthquake, however, a team of thousands work feverishly, to send over more than half a million dollars worth of medical supplies to Haiti since last Tuesday’s disaster.

After receiving your feedback, The Go Inspire Go Team was inspired to take action. We visited the folks at MedShare in San Leandro and created this video to inspire you to volunteer or donate your time to this amazing group and/or to do whatever you can to HELP HAITI -- NOW. Please watch, share and DO SOMETHING.

Meanwhile, I’m urging everyone in our multi-media community to pick up your cameras and document how other people in their communities are reaching out – even from thousands of miles away. If you’d like to send over your video or ideas on how to help Haiti, please email info@goinspirego.com.

Please check out these stories captured by Haitian film students at Ciné Institute. These reports, uploaded to the film school’s Vimeo Channel, highlight the utter devastation from the town of Jacmel just off of Haiti’s southern coast. These reports show the dire conditions from a park-turned-refugee camp. As you’re watching, please ask yourself “WHAT CAN I DO?” (Warning: Some images in these videos are disturbing):

This report was filed by Ciné Institute student, Lesly Decembre:

Student - Lesly Decembre reports from a makeshift refugee camp in Jacmel from Ciné Institute on Vimeo.

This report was filed this Monday by Ciné Institute student, Keziah Jean:

Pinchinat: Report by Keziah Jean from Ciné Institute on Vimeo.

Links to how YOU can HELP HAITI can be found on the right side of this blog!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to our Haitian brothers and sisters.


SPECIAL THANKS: GO Inspire GO volunteers, Ashley Lopez and Luis Pena-Philippides(production), Jessica Chang (co-writing MedShare story), Lorelle Graffeo (Help Haiti Logo and Web Design), Kevin Lee (programming).

January 14, 2010

Help Haiti! What Can You Do?

I sit and watch in horror -- The destruction and lives ripped apart by the massive devastation from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that shook Port-au-Prince, Haiti Tuesday... The gutted homes, buildings and even a collapsed hospital. The images and sounds of bloody children's cries as they search for their parents and loved ones haunt us. WE can not sit and just watch anymore. The lifeless bodies strewn across the rubble, covered by cardboard and plastic -- and the grief stricken cries for help haunt me. WE can not sit and just watch anymore -- I've had many conversations with friends, colleagues and volunteers of GoInspireGo about what we can do to help. WE need YOUR help!

Whether you know a lot or a little about Haiti is irrelevant at this point. WE can not sit and just watch anymore.WE as a global community need to reach out and help NOW! The earthquake has come, rocked and ravaged a community (the death toll continues to grow... and is still uncounted for) According to Bulgarian News Agency, BGNES, A Red Cross representative says the number the fatalities of the earthquake that hit Haiti can be anywhere between 45,000 and 50,000. WE can not sit and just watch anymore.

In addition to the staggering death toll, another estimated 3 million plus people have been injured and left without homes.

*The Go Inspire Go team is contacting non-profits and people in our network and community to gather an action plan on how to help. Please send your ideas to us at toanlam@goinspirego.com by 8pm Pacific Time today. We will compile the data and gather an action plan.

WE can not sit and just watch anymore.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? -- Can you send a donation to the Red Cross or other non-profits that are helping with rescue and relief efforts? Can you blog or create a video (and send it to us) about what people in your community are doing to help our brothers and sisters in Haiti? Do something! Please email this out to everyone in your email and social networking list -- Please send your ideas to us at toanlam@goinspirego.com and/or post what you're doing to help on our comments section below. We want people to be inspired by your actions and be moved to act.


In the spirit of service,

Toan Lam
Founder, Go Inspire Go

Please See This List Care of The New York Times Within Our HELP HAITI Sidebar for All the Agencies You Can Contact. Thank You!