The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Helping Haiti. If we can get through the red tape

Like many of you, I've been glued to the news for the last 30+ hours, horrified by what I've seen in Haiti. Indy has taken a keen interest in it too and we've had quite a few discussions about it. We lived in IL when an earthquake shook us back in 2008 and he remembers it quite well. It was frightening and things fell off the wall and gives him a frame of reference. He understands that the one in Haiti was much, much worse and the destruction is overwhelming. This morning he said he wanted to help. He said he wanted to send stuff to help, but a beat later said that wouldn't work because their post office had probably collapsed too (clever boy, isn't he?). A few minutes later he decided it would be easier to send money, but not just a little money, but a lot of money so it could help everybody. What a sweetheart my boy is. He decided he wanted to take up donations and give them to a charity to help. He's seen many groups sitting outside the Commissary (military grocery store) doing bake sales, selling Girl Scout Cookies, taking collections, etc and decided that was what he wanted to do. I agreed it was a very good plan and started making phone calls. The first was to the American Red Cross to find out if we could give the money to them (and to make sure it would go to Haitian relief) and if we could use their name and emblem on our sign. They absolutely agreed and I called the Commissary to make sure we could set up outside. The manager had no problem with it and thought it was a good idea, but told me I'd need an approval letter from the Post commander. Okay. I called the post commander's office and explained the situation. They asked me to write up a memo stating what we wanted to do and when. I did so and carried it over to the office. The PC was out and we were told to come back in an hour. We did and that's where we hit a snag. Unfortunately there was a problem due to unscrupulous people collecting money for whatever and then not giving it to charity. Great. They want to help us out (Indy was crushed at the thought that he might not get to collect for the people of Haiti), but had to do some checking and get JAG (legal) involved and they would let us know tomorrow. The day we planned on doing the collection. I don't know what we'll do if they tell us no, but he's already collected about $25 from people he accosted at the hospital (I had an eye exam) and at the PX. I suppose if we have to, I'll just let him continue to accost random people and tell them they need to help the Haitians. No matter what, we're going to find some way to help out.

If you happen to live in the Heidelberg area, we plan to be in front of the Commissary from 1pm to 3pm on Friday. If you'd like to come donate, please do so. If we're not at a table out front, look for me and Indy trolling the parking lot.


Anne said...

why don't you get the "spouse" club of Heidelberg to join force with you. I bet that would help with the paperwork> Just a thought!
I'll try to remember and show up

Rhona said...

Good luck on Friday, hope all goes according to plan. Unfortunately I live in the UK so you won't be able to accost me ;o). You should be very proud of your young man, it's fantastic that he's wanting to help.

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I hope things go well and he's able to get a lot of donations. If I was there I'd pitch in.

satakieli said...

We wont be over at the commissary on Friday because we're going out, but I'd love to pop by and give Indy some money to help out sometime.

He's such a sweet boy for wanting to help out.

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