I received an email from our company CEO that they the company is purchasing a Basic Disaster Response Unit with Solar Panels and Pump through Water Missions International (WMI) to be immediately sent to Haiti. I'm a big fan of WMI and the work it does in providing clean water in disaster relief.
A WMI system cleans 23,000 liters of water every 10 hours and will provide clean and safe drinking water to save thousands of earthquake victims' lives. After the immediate disaster needs have been met, the system will be relocated to a hospital, school, or somewhere else needed within the Haiti community where it will continue to provide water for over 5,000 people a day as the country begins to recover.
I think there are a lot of worthy organizations to donate to in this time of need, but my main concern in donating has always been what amount of my donation goes to administrative overhead. In this time of need, I want my donation to be received by an organization already on the ground and able to implement aid to the people most in need.
The words of our CEO were perfect. "Though there are many within our own country who are in need, tonight everyone in our country who seeks it has clean water to drink, basic food to eat, or shelter (even if it's a homeless shelter). Many of the victims of the Haiti earthquake have none of these. As fellow human beings, I believe we have an obligation to help. There are many wonderful organizations involved in this relief effort. It was a difficult decision how to help. We wanted to know that wherever we sent a contribution that it would provide the most basic needs, that the organization is able to navigate the difficult delivery issues we've all read about so the benefit would be immediate, and that the dollars would flow directly to the victims rather than be diluted by high administrative overhead. We chose Water Missions International (WMI). In addition to emergency medical care, clean water is probably the greatest need. WMI was already operating in Haiti before the earthquake and they have people on the ground there to receive these systems and make them quickly operational. They have already shipped 10 systems with a goal to ship 5 more every day, up to a total of 100 complete units. The solar panels and pump eliminate the need for fuel for the systems to become operational. Not only do the water systems provide immediate life saving relief, but they continue to provide clean, safe water ongoing - so our contribution continues into the future as the people and their country begin to recover."
I would encourage you to also make a personal contribution, regardless of how large or small as every dollar helps. You can learn more about them or donate through: www.watermissions.org or to donate $10 and have it charged to your next cell phone bill, text WMI to 85944 (confirm "yes").