Helping Haiti

Posted on January 16, 2010

In Devarim 15:7-8 we are taught: If, however, there is a needy person among you…do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kinsman. Rather you must open your hand and lend him sufficient for whatever he needs.

In response to the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on January 12 and has left tens of thousands of people dead and many thousands more injured people throughout the world are interested in doing something concrete to help the relief efforts in Haiti and to educate their students on how to respond to tragedies like this. Here are a few resources that may be helpful:

Supporting the Relief Efforts
Here is a list of a few organizations currently taking donations for relief efforts:

American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)
American Red Cross
B’nai Brith International
Doctors Without Borders
The Jewish Federations of North America
Orthodox Union (OU)
Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ)

Resources for Students
Here is a list of a few organizations that have resources or programs that you can use and/or participate in with your students:

A lesson plan entitled Help Haiti that provides a service learning lesson that teachers can implement or adapt as necessary.
Guide to Service Learning for Disaster Preparation is designed as a resource and reference for anyone who is interested in engaging youth/students in service-learning focused on disaster preparation, response, mitigations, and/or recovery.
Kids Care has several programs to help students raise funds to support those injured.
The League has educational resources that may help your students understand and respond to the devastation in Haiti and in addressing the issues of Disaster Relief.
The Lookstein Center has a variety of resources that teachers can use in their classrooms.
The National Service-Learning Clearinghouse has a toolkit to support teen community preparedness service-learning experiences that provides background information on community preparedness and service-learning and takes teens through the entire process of designing a service-learning project, assessment, and reflection.
Youth Service America- This tipsheet contains a list of basic fundraising ideas and this resource guide is designed to engage youth in service-learning initiatives that address the issue of disaster relief and preparedness.

Please feel free to share this with your colleagues and let us know of any other links that we should add.

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