Update: Help Haiti! Matador.com’s Call For Help

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

“A lot can happen in a week. And some things can stay frustratingly the same.”

I’ve been following Matador.com’s campaign to help Haiti since I posted their efforts on TheExped last week. There are a few things to share.

First things first, this is a huge undertaking and, to be done correctly, may take time. It seems as though Julie and the crew don’t want to simply ship a planeload of willing people down there with little more than their own energy — that could prove futile and even disastrous. They are hard at work, contacting organizations in the U.S. and Haiti, coordinating localized and larger-scale donation drives, reviewing volunteer information, and keeping everyone up to date.

In recent updates, they are verifying New York City and Miami donation sites and sharing their medically-qualified volunteers with the organization Partners In Health. Also, it was reported that a Matador volunteer reached an orphanage in Port-au-Prince to deliver supplies. For more information, head to their update here.

Just this afternoon, the tone of their update took a turn towards the frustrated, and seems to echo the volunteers’ moods: “Why are we still in a holding pattern?” With frustrations beginning to rise, they remind everyone that Matador is doing all they can to work with dependable organizations and to navigate the seemingly endless bureaucracy. Their four points at this time are as follows:

  1. Volunteers ARE needed, though often under strict conditions. (The screening process takes time.)
  2. Donation sites need volunteers for sorting and packing. (Inquire everywhere.)
  3. NYC area volunteers are needed for an event tomorrow. (Thursday, the IIHA in NYC, is looking for volunteers to staff a panel discussion on the state of the disaster relief. Please email Jenna Felz at [email protected])
  4. Decide if you’re in this for the long haul. (Be patient, opportunities will arise and your help will be even more valuable then.)

For more details on the above information, refer to their 1/20/10 update or their homepage.

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